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

Compare the three romantic perspectives of London, and show how each poet's attitude towards his subject is reflected in his poetic style.

Extracts from this document...


Edward Eaton Compare the three romantic perspectives of London, and show how each poet's attitude towards his subject is reflected in his poetic style. Blake, Wordsworth and Byron are all romantic poets, and characteristic of the movement, their poetic style reflects their reaction to not only the physical world, but the political world as well. During the romantic era, 18th to 19th centuries, there was much political upheaval and conflict, including the French Revolution and Industrial Revolution, which ultimately led to a conflict between industry and nature. It is this subjectivity for the subject that adds depth to the romantic style, and as the three London poems show, wide variation. William Blake gives a very negative description of London with it's "charter'd streets", "youthful Harlots", "weakness" and "woe". The dark imagery he uses such as the "Marriage hearse" all contribute to a general picture of death, depravity and corruption. Blake also makes his views clear by using strong political undertones, and his disgust at what London has become. ...read more.


Instead of giving London's inhabitants something to be proud of, it is merely an obsolete object of a once great power, and another authority Blake is critical of. Byron looks at London in a more objective way, but like Blake also criticises the city. Instead of bitterness with the authorities, he is more dismissive, and implies that a "mighty mass of brick, and smoke" is a poor symbol of man's achievements. He says that London is merely "a wilderness of steeples peeping on tiptoe through their sea-coal canopy. As in Blake's poem, we are given an image of a "dirty and dusty" city, "as wide as eye", a city covered with a blanket of smog. This "huge, dun cupola" acts as a "foolscap crown, on a fool's head". Although the poem is not political in the sense of Blake's poem, it is more satirical, and Byron dismisses the town, and although acknowledges the vastness of the city, describes it as a fool, and merely a collection of "alchymic furnaces" and "tax and paper". ...read more.


Whilst Wordsworth and Byron concentrate more on the physical appearance of London, such as the masts, domes and steeples, Blake focuses on the sounds and smells of London. Sound plays a crucial part in his description of life in the city, and we are given a picture of chaotic din, with infants crying and chimney sweeps calling. The three poems engage the audience very differently, and poetically the Wordsworth and Byron are longer, more prose-like poems. The difference between Byron's Ottava Rima structure, Wordsworth's octet and sextet against Blake's four short stanzas helps to show Blake's strong feelings for the town as it is clearer and breaks the poem up into separate descriptions and opinions. Indeed Byron can include more information on the subject in his structure of Don Juan ("who saw not all this [London]"), and to an extent can concentrate on information and sentiment, whereas Blake and Wordsworth concentrate more on feeling. Although the poems are all from different perspective and individual experience, it is more the poet's subjectivity that creates the difference between the three poems, whether it is strong political views or an admiration of nature. ...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. William Blake - Blake is angry and critical about the attitude and values of ...

    leads to a lot of boys dying at an early age and the idea of the boys being locked up in the coffins is symbolic of the children not being able to escape and get out of the profession because they have been sold to their employee in most cases

  2. William Blake- subject, language and form

    It shows London's extreme extent of control at that time. Even the mention of chartered streets suggests an uptight lack of freedom setting for Blake's contemporary people. The most powerful metaphor used in this poem is "mind-forged manacles" found in stanza two the last line.

  1. In what ways did the Romantic poets capture the readers' attention throughout the poems?

    out, destroying all that beauty, the image of it being 'good on the outside but bad on the inside' becomes evident. Likewise this image of deception is mirrored by the poem 'London'. During the 19th century London was the financial centre of the world, with money, prosperity, industry and trade, which any outsider would look on with awe and admiration.

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

    If God was so great, why are people in poverty? Why are people dieing and put in these situations? He used to believe that God was there but as he's grown up he's realised that God has not helped him and as time has gone on he has lost his faith.

  1. Blake & Wordsworth were both Romantic Poets, yet their visions of London are opposed ...

    The echo of the biblical diction also suggests that the experience is almost spiritual in nature which contrasts Blake's use of "Charter'd" where he creates a depressing and negative image of our Capital. Furthermore, the titles of the two poems give a good contribution to their views of London.

  2. In this essay I am going to talk about the subject matter and style ...

    Combine 'not a' with 'Chance' and you end up with a name that could be seen as summarising Nora's life prospects; what with her being the illegitimate daughter of a high class father. Another instance is the name at which the two song and dance girls live; 49 Bard Road.

  1. Compare the view of London presented in the two poems and explain how it ...

    This is very vivid imagery, which describes how people are effectively chained to a certain idea and there is no escaping it. People would not ever think of living any other way, it is quite obviously an idea that Blake was against.

  2. "To say the word Romanticism is to say modern art- that is intimacy, spirituality, ...

    theatres" rest grandly, but gently on the horizon as though they are blanketed in their own "majesty". Unlike Blake, this is an example of Wordsworth studying and appreciating the city and its physical features, rather than the people who live in it.

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