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Comparing "Composed Upon WestminsterBridge , September 3, 1802" by William Wordsworth and "London" by William Blake.

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Introduction

Comparing "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802" by William Wordsworth and "London" by William Blake "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" and "London" were both written in the 19th century to exemplify the authors' views on the city of London. "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" is a specific poem. It is specifically about a part of London, seen from Westminster Bridge. "London" is a poem which is considering the troubles of the people in London, and the inflexible way in which it is controlled. Wordsworth shows through his poem that he admires the beauty and tranquillity of London. This is implied in the first line of the poem: "Earth has not anything to show more fair" In contrast, Blake expresses his hatred of London. He has feelings of aggravation and unhappiness. He thinks London is not free and conveys the ways in which London is controlled. He demonstrates this by using repetition of the word "chartered" which means controlled, such as in verse 1, line 1 and verse 1, line 2; "...chartered street..." "...chartered Thames..." This emphasises that everything has been taken over and exploited. ...read more.

Middle

This is shown in the last line of Blake's poem: "And blights with plagues the marriage hearse" This uses the image of a marriage hearse being destroyed by sexually transmitted disease. Marriage is supposed to be a happy occasion, although here it is shown to be an institution that carries people to their deathbeds. People die soon after they are married because of venereal disease and the presence of prostitutes destroys the concept of marriage. This disgraces and mocks the church. Blake, like Wordsworth, also uses personification. The harlot, baby and soldier are thought to personify London. The harlot is cursing the next generation. There is an image of the soldier's sigh running in blood down the palace walls. Here he is attacking the monarchy and government for condemning young men to death by sending them to fight in foreign wars. The baby is seen to be diseased literally with venereal disease or cholera. Wordsworth's poem is less melodramatic in its outlook as it simply describes London at one moment in the morning. It does not contain anything that could be interpreted as relating to London's people or what the future holds for them. ...read more.

Conclusion

Wordsworth's poem is a sonnet and he uses alternate line rhyming. All line endings either rhyme with "fair", "by" or "steep". This presents a loose rhyming pattern, the effect of which is to let the poem flow and sound pleasant, while making sure not to control its structure too rigidly. The flowing structure is especially exemplified because of lack of verses. His poem is written in verse using iambic pentameter which emphasizes the meaning of the rhyming words. This shows the contentment he is experiencing. "London" is written in four, four line stanzas. Each line of each verse generally has the same number of syllables. He uses alternate line rhyming, which presents a rigid structure to show how harshly London's people are controlled. Every verse ends with a full stop to signify each topic of his poem coming to and end. I think both poems have strong, emotional views and opinions towards London. I prefer Blake's poem because it gives me a greater outlook on London. It gives me a different attitude towards London and its people than I previously had. Blake's poem is more appealing to me because it contains interesting symbolism and comparisons. Both poems are similar with their potential to inform the reader of author's sentiments. ...read more.

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