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Compare the two nineteenth century Poems, 'London' by William Blake And 'Lines Composed upon Westminster Bridge' by William Wordsworth.

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Introduction

Lisa Bannister 11P 4007 Mrs Rothwell Compare the two nineteenth century Poems, 'London' by William Blake And 'Lines Composed upon Westminster Bridge' by William Wordsworth 'Earth has nothing to show more fair', taken from William Wordsworths 'Lines composed upon Westminster Bridge,' could not be more of a contrast to the way William Blake describes what he sees in his poem 'London'. William Wordsworth and William Blake both wrote their poems within a very similar time, yet they are completely different in all aspects. 'Lines composed upon Westminster bridge' by William Blake describes London as the most beautiful place in the world yet 'London' by William Blake could not be more different. Blake wrote 'London' in 1794. Immediately by the title you think bright lights, showbiz and glamour, as it is the capital of the country, England's showpiece. However Blake creates a very negative tone throughout the poem about the things he sees. Each line is full of negative diction, which helps create this negative tone. He effectively creates this tone from the start of the first verse. ' I wander thro each chartered street where the chartered street does flow' Here Blake criticises the government, he looks negatively at the charter which was a written document given to the people of London to give them rights and privileges yet Blake sees it as a bad thing. He uses the repetition of 'chartered' to emphasise it and insult it. ...read more.

Middle

It sounds like a dreadful place that you would definitely not want to go to. Lisa Bannister 11P/B 4007 Mrs Rothwell 'I wander thro' Blake writes in first person to create a more immediate effect. He uses the word ' wander' instead of wandered which makes it seem like its happening now. Blake uses many different techniques throughout his poem 'London'. He uses an ABAB rhyme scheme. This emphasises certain words, the negative ones. Blake skilfully emphasises these negative words using this technique. He also uses Iambic tetrameter in the first verse to make the poem flow. This pattern breaks after the first verse. Blake uses enjambment to keep the poem flowing; it moves you on to the next line to give more negative things happening. 'Mind forged manacles' alliteration is used skilfully here to fall on the 'm' sound. This reflects the negativity and makes the reader focus on it. Blake uses this technique several times to create this effect. Juxtaposition is all so used by Blake in the end verse. ' The marriage hearse.' These are two words you don't generally tend to see together, this has a religious meaning behind it that in London around the time William Blake wrote 'London' you were expected to marry before your late twenties. If you didn't you had no future and were thought badly of, so women just married for the sake of it, happy or not. ...read more.

Conclusion

He also uses lots of positive vocabulary, 'splendour' and 'calm' which creates a positive tone in the poem. These words contrast with those Blake used to describe the things he saw in London. William Wordsworth uses different techniques to Blake yet they are still as effective. He uses similes and personification, which makes the poem seem more alive and it has a very positive tone throughout it. He uses positive vocabulary to create this effect and punctuation such as the exclamation mark. 'Mighty heart is lying still!' Wordsworth skilfully uses personification here to create the effect that London is a giant person and is alive. He uses the word 'And' at the beginning of this line to show how much better London is and Lisa Banister 11P/B 4007 Mrs Rothwell finishes it with an exclamation mark ending the poem on a positive note. When I first read the poems I was very surprised at how different they could be when written in such a similar time. How is it Wordsworth didn't see all the negative things that Blake pointed out? Or how could Blake have missed all the spectacular features Wordsworth described? There was a huge contrast between the two poems but I found them both interesting. Overall I would say that I preferred Blake's poem as it had more depth to it and seemed to be more immediate and involve the reader more. Despite all the negativity I found it interesting to read and found it effective in the way that Blake delivered it. ...read more.

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