• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare London by William Blake, and 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' by William Wordsworth

Extracts from this document...


Compare London by William Blake, and 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' by William Wordsworth In the late 18th century/early 19th century, there were many different events and changes going on in London. William Blake and William Wordsworth both wrote poems about London- however, their poems were very different. Each poet wrote from a different view. Blake, who had lived his life in London, criticised the city, focusing on the dark and terrible insider's perspective. Whereas Wordsworth, a tourist from the Lake District, praised, it and expressed his love for London. The focus of their poems may have been influenced by their backgrounds as Wordsworth was a visitor from the Lake District and Blake had been a Londoner all his life. They both wrote about London, but Blake looked inside the city and wrote about the people, whilst Wordsworth looked at the city from Westminster Bridge, but did not look inside of it. They both use different techniques to convey their feeling. Blake and Wordsworth had very different intentions whilst writing their poems. Wordsworth aimed to make London sound the best place in the world, "Earth has not anything to show more fair" this praises London and suggests that it is the most beautiful sight the world has to offer. It is also a hyperbole as it is a very bold statement used to draw readers in and engage them. The word "fair" is feminine and ladylike, and suggests that Wordsworth is comparing the city to a lady, to make it sound more delicate. ...read more.


Another colour used in his poem is red. He mentions blood, 'And the hapless soldiers sigh runs in blood down palace walls'. Blood, which is obviously red, symbolizes pain and suffering throughout London. Also, it could be referring to the soldiers that were sent to war by Prince Regent. When the soldiers returned from war they would have to fend for themselves. There were many protests about the war when people would graffiti the palace walls to express their views. In 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge', Wordsworth makes exclamations. 'Dear God! The very houses seem asleep;' this shows that he is so shocked and amazed by the beauty of London, he cries it out. It also shows he is really deeply touched by the city. Also, Wordsworth uses assonance to show the mood of his poem. The words Hill, Will and Still are all very serene words. Wordsworth uses them to create a sense of tranquillity in the poem, and to show the calmness of the city. In Blake's poem 'London', he uses the repetition of the word 'every'. Repeated in three out of four lines in the second stanza, the word 'every' creates a sense of monotony and suggests that everyone is trapped in the same position. Also, Blake uses monosyllabic words such as cry, curse, tear and ban in his poem to continue the monotony. The use of these words also makes the London feel more restrained. ...read more.


Also, the word 'every' suggests that all churches are the same. 'Runs in Blood down palace walls' In 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge', there is no sound mentioned. Wordsworth states that London is 'Silent' which adds to the tranquillity of the city. On the other hand, Blake writes about the negative sounds he hears as he walks through London. 'Soldiers Sigh' 'Cry of Fear', these are all very negative sounds that are linked to pain and suffering. This shows that the people of London were depressed and fed up of the corruption and living in poverty. If people are crying of fear this suggests that there is something to be very afraid of. Perhaps it's the physical effects of poverty causing them to cry, or the emotional effects frightening them as they know they are trapped and cannot escape. Blake writes about different people in his poem to criticise London. "How the youthful harlots curse". Here Blake is talking about the problem with prostitutes. The legal age of consent was thirteen. The word 'curse' suggests sexually transmitted diseases, and shows that these girls as young as thirteen are cursed with STD's and are passing them around. It could also literally mean they are swearing and cursing. Also, Blake writes about children crying "In every infant's cry of fear". This instantly creates sympathy for the use of 'infant' makes the reader feel sorry for the child. It makes the poem more powerful because it makes the reader feel guilty that the infant is crying because it is suffering in poverty and nobody is doing anything to stop it. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE William Blake section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE William Blake essays

  1. How does William Blake portray children and childhood in his poetry? Discuss with references ...

    It's bare! Probably dead. We also see a young child lying in the lake, which looks very much dead. The child would have died from starvation. The guardian nearby isn't grieving or helping, she just stands there like she doesn't care. The Echoing Green (SOI)

  2. Compare and Contrast "London" by William Blake and "IslandMan" by Grace Nichols. Consider How ...

    The poet spent her informative years in the Caribbean and so sees London in a different perspective from someone who has lived there all their lives. Grace Nichols also has a completely different cultural background to someone who has been brought up in London.

  1. How Does William Blake convey his anger in the poem ' London'

    The effect of giving the poem a rythm of a walking pace, is that it enables the reader to, in a way, walk with the writer and establish a deeper understanding of what he is seeing, and what he is feeling, which then enables him to convey his thought more accurately to the reader.

  2. Comparison between, Composed Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth and London by William Blake

    as he focuses on the gloomy streets where the poor are trapped in a grimy, dirty labyrinth where their only release is death, "And blights with plagues the marriage hearse". In Blake's second paragraph Blake talks about hearing the "mind forged manacles" as if the minds of the people of

  1. Comparing 'London' and 'Composed Upon Westminster bridge'

    The quote 'And blights with plagues the marriage-hearse.' This shows us he believes that instead of people marrying for love, they marry for convenience. From these two poems, you can instantly figure out which poem is calmer and which is the more violent. In 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge', published in 1802 by William Wordsworth, he reflects on a beautiful view of the city.

  2. The two poems 'London' by William Blake and 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' by William ...

    The opening line is an example of hyperbole and is very definite. "Earth has not anything to show more fair" Simile can be seen in the line "This City now doth, like a garment, wear..." Wordsworth compares the early morning beauty of the city to a cloak that will later be removed.

  1. HOW DOES THE POET CREATE A SENSE OF PLACE? Composed Upon Westminster Bridge by ...

    He describes it as being very rough and harsh for the working class and how no one, not event the church, would help them. Again, he uses different techniques to help the reader picture themselves walking through the dull streets of London.

  2. In my essay I will give some information on William Blake's history and also ...

    There is a division between the rich and the poor and he does not see why. He does not see why the rich get priority when there are others in need more. I think he uses his childhood to be able to express his feeling as a child and give

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work