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Comparison of Poems about London by William Wordsworth and William Blake.

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Comparison of Poems about London by William Wordsworth and William Blake William Blake's 'London' and Wordsworth's 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' are very different in both content and in style. Wordsworth's romantic, beautiful and optimistic description of London is very different to Blake's highly critical and pessimistic writing about London. Blake's poem is not as much about London itself than about the people living in it. Wordsworth's sonnet, on the other hand, is not about the people, but is about the city. Blake's poem is very negative, using very pessimistic language such as 'woe', 'manacles', 'black'ning' and 'plague'. Blake writes about the people worst affected by London living, poor people. He is therefore looking only at the worst affected of people, a very pessimistic angle. ...read more.


His last comment 'blights with plagues the marriage curse' could be a realisation by Blake of sexually transmitted diseases, which are spread through things like prostitution and could make marriage lead to death. The poem is, overall, quite negative in its approach to London at this time and is this way is completely opposes the views of Wordsworth. Wordsworth's sonnet is very different in content. It is a very optimistic, romantic poem about London. Wordsworth was well known for his love of nature and his poem incorporates nature into his description of London. To him, London is as beautiful as a natural landscape and is almost a geographical and natural place. He gives the impression of freedom, fresh air and peace by using the words, 'sky', 'fields' and 'silent' and mentions, alongside them, the beauties of the city, the towers, domes and theatres. ...read more.


In style, the two poems differ. Wordsworth's poem is a Petracan sonnet, which is a very constrictive form of poetry. Blake is free from any constraints. However, it is Blake's poem that appears more constrained, and Wordsworth's poem appears free. Wordsworth uses varied rhythm and unusual rhymes but the poem does not sound chaotic. Blake's poem uses the same standard rhythm and simple rhymes such as the repetition of 'chartered', 'man' and 'ban' and 'hear' and 'tear' and he uses plain syllables throughout. Wordsworth's poem gives the overall impression of freedom, as if London is an area of natural beauty. He almost makes the reader able to smell the fresh morning air and imagine the beauty. Blake's poem, in contrast, creates a negative atmosphere of pain, suffering and evil. The two are describing the same thing, but the poems differ hugely. Page 1 ...read more.

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