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

Discuss William Blake's Poem 'London' With William Wordsworth's 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge' in 1802.

Extracts from this document...


Discuss William Blake's Poem 'London' With William Wordsworth's 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge' in 1802 William Blake and William Wordsworth both lived in the 18th-19th century and both had very different views on the world even though they were both romantic composers and wrote about the same kind of things. The two poets contrast in very different ways about similar things. In these two poems about London they both give very different opinions of what they see around them. William Wordsworth writes about the complexity and power that he sees in his sonnet, whereas William Blake writes about the social problems of people in the poorer areas of London. The poets seem to be direct opposition to each other because one writes on the dirt, disease and decay, the other on the beauty, complexity and power. Both poets use personification, similes and metaphors in their work to interesting effect. William Blake sees the so-called 'truth' about London. He sees the poverty and suffering the people go through and the way they are controlled by invisible rules binding them to the poverty. "...in every ban, The mind-forg'd manacles I hear." ...read more.


Wordsworth sees London in an admiring way and he sees the majesty of it as he is a visitor to London and has had a totally different upbringing. "I wander thro' each charter'd street, Near where the charter'd Thames does flow," Blake here uses the word 'charter'd' to imply bound and dirty areas around the area of the Thames. He says that society has lost its spirituality and imagination and is just an empty shell covered in dirty and decay. "Every black'ning Church appals;" This tells us that Blake disapproves of the church and God. He blames God for all the misery and suffering he sees about him every day. Blake sees against the liturgy while Wordsworth seems to be with the church for he associates what he sees with God. "Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;" Here William Wordsworth shows that he approves of God and the church and he sees God as being the cause for all the power and beauty he sees in nature and industry. Wordsworth feels so overwhelmed by the calmness of London that he feels the need to call upon God's name. ...read more.


Wordsworth talks of the scenery, of the buildings and the industry and nature, for he is unaware of society's poverty. "Never did sun more beautifully steep In his first splendour, valley, rock or hill; Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!" "Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its majesty:" This means you would have to be 'dead inside' if he or she could not appreciate such beauty. The fact that Wordsworth uses the word "majesty" offers a royal sense, a royal beauty, giving us the idea of just how beautiful and magnificent this city actually is. This contrasts well with the disease-ridden city described by Blake. In conclusion, Blake and Wordsworth have very different writing styles and views on the world. Wordsworth is fixed on nature and industry and power, whereas Blake is attempting to reveal the situation of poverty and suffering in society. The two poets therefore seem to be opposites, but in fact Wordsworth is just blind to the truth that Blake sees and Blake is blind to the truth that Wordsworth sees and therefore I believe that they would not be so against each other if they had just opened their minds to wider perspectives. ...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. Compare London by William Blake, and 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' by William Wordsworth

    He uses the colour black which symbolises death, but another meaning could be the 'Black death' which devastated the country in the 14th century. Blake is trying to say that London is still full of the pain and mortality that there was when the Black Death Struck.

  2. Compare and contrast London by William Blake and Composed upon Westminster Bridge bt William ...

    expressing the freedom felt by Nature: "The river glideth at his own sweet will". This contrasts greatly with the limits and restraints conveyed to us through the description of the Thames as being "chartered".

  1. Comparing Two Poems - Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth; In a London Drawing-room by ...

    The idea of the world being "one huge prison-house" is a scary and thankfully unrealistic prospect. However it makes the reader think about controlled environments, like London, where everything seems already determined and is simply one big network of things, which doesn't have any individuality and creativity, attached to them.

  2. Compare and Contrast "London" by William Blake and "IslandMan" by Grace Nichols. Consider How ...

    death and the ceremony of a funeral in the same line as the word "Marriage" which represents life and the ceremony of a wedding. The word "plague" in this line conjures up the idea that it is inevitable that society will fall apart, it is inescapable, and the very fabric of society was rotten.

  1. Compare and contrast the poem London by William Blake and William Wordsworth's poem Composed ...

    Blake tells us of the goings on in London where as Wordsworth only tells us what he can see. William Wordsworth's poem is written as a sonnet, the octave is an elaborate description of his surroundings and what he can see.

  2. How do Blake and Wordsworth respond to nature in their poetry and what other ...

    He 'worked with a dim and undetermined sense of unknown modes of being; in my thoughts'. Afterwards he was disturbed by his experience in the boat, but could not offer any explanation as to why this was so. From that moment onwards he had a completely different prospective of the

  1. Compare and contrast William Wordsworth's 'Composed upon WestminsterBridge, September 3rd 1802' and William Blake's ...

    However this obviously intrusive aspect of the city is described as flowing at 'His own sweet will', portraying the river as not being constrained or affected my man and mans modern architecture. The poet also carries on describing the river as sweet maintaining the sense of calm, as well as

  2. A comparison of 'London' by William Blake and 'Composed Upon Wesminster Bridge' By William ...

    He develops this idea by contrasting creation with tranquillity, for example; 'And all that mighty heart is lying still!' This line promotes peacefulness and a calm felt within, it also adds a touch of creation as Wordsworth sees the 'heart' as a powerful and brilliant thing that is resting.

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