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Compare William Wordsworth's composed upon Westminster Bridge and William Blake's London.

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Introduction

Compare William Wordsworth's composed upon Westminster Bridge and William Blake's London. The two poems I have studied are on the same topic and were written around the same time but there treatment of the subject matter is very different. Blake's poem "London" deals with the darker side of London and the people who suffer and make others suffer. Wordsworth's poem "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" describes the beauty of the city. In "London" Blake describes a diseased and plagued city where the innocent are tortured and die. This poem also deals with the church and the authorities in a very negative way. The beginning of the poem there is an immediate feeling of restriction with the "chartered streets" and "chartered Thames" which suggests that there is little or no freedom. There is also the idea of man playing God and wanting to able to control the river. Blake then goes onto the people and the first thing he mentions is woe and weakness and all-round feelings of stress, gloom and sadness. ...read more.

Middle

Now the city is at night and it is no different to the day with everyone drinking, but there comes a more disturbing vision with the "youthful harlots curse". This prostitute could be cursing in more than one way, she could be cursing her Childs life or she could be cursing the city or she could be passing on a disease and so cursing her clients or she could simply just be swearing. In the next line you hear of her baby and how it is in distress, or is it her baby? It could just be her making someone else's infant cry. Now the end hits home with the fact that the prostitute is so dangerous. Blake uses the words "marriage hearse" to describe marriage. Does he want us to think that the harlot has passed on infection to the bridegroom? Or is he likening marriage to death? ...read more.

Conclusion

It is silent and bare but still beautiful. Briefly Wordsworth tells of some of the sites "Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples." But then he describes the openness of them and how they are complimented by the surrounding fields. I think Wordsworth was mostly ether a tourist or country lad to have aired these opinions whereas Blake got in to the heart of London and then passed judgement. Maybe Blake was a Londoner and so he witnesses this every day and so knows London but yet he is still appalled by it. Wordsworth and Blake both talk about the buildings and have conflicting ideas. Blake sees them as ether bloodstained or soot stained, metaphorically speaking, where as Wordsworth notices them as things of beauty and majesty. Also both of the poets talk about the people. At lest they have an opinion in common where they both see society in London, as a mockery to the human race, be it men of the court, cloth or normal townsfolk. They both paint very different pictures. One poem speaks of happiness and beauty, the other of revolting grimness and misery. ...read more.

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