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Blake and Wordsworth on London

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How do the Poets' Presentation and Attitude Toward London Compare? Within the two poems Composed Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth and London by William Blake we see a differing view of London. We see one of optimism and beauty through the eyes of Wordsworth and one of corruption and anger. It is interesting to note that Wordsworth, who grew up in the Lake District and only lived in London in his later life shows the city as a thing of beauty, yet Blake, who was born and raised in London only presents the corruption that exists within the city. We can also see how Blake was heavily influenced by his anti-authoritarian views. Composed Upon Westminster Bridge by Wordsworth is written as a petrarchan sonnet which is typically a love poem which refers to a concept of unattainable love. This shows quite clearly that Wordsworth has a deep love for London and it is typical of romantic poets to convey deep emotions whilst containing them in formed structures to show their emotions in a clear way. ...read more.


Glideth also has an elongated vowel sound which means that the word slows down the pace of the poem. This is effective as it mirrors the river and this reinforces the image in the reader's mind. It can also be argued that, thought Wordsworth clearly adores the physical aspects of London he feels that this beauty is marred when the city is bustling. We can see this through Wordsworth's vivid description of how "Never did the Sun more beautifully steep, in its first splendour" This conveys his appreciation for the beauty of London, yet he also mentions that it is also early in the morning. We then see that he describes "That mighty heart is lying still" and this can be interpreted in many ways. We can see this as a reference to the heart as the most integral part of the body and that the city is only beautiful when the heart is not working. We could also see this phrase as imagery of the heart as the organ associated with love, which would demonstrate that Blake feels one of the most endearing qualities of London is the people. ...read more.


He describes how "The youthful harlots curse blasts the new-born infants tear" the curse of the harlots is syphilis and the line is powerful as there are many meanings behind it. It is clear that the infants tear is a thing of innocence which has been sullied by the corruption of the city. We can also view the infants tear being blasted as it's purpose has been changed. Infants normally cry because they want something but they will never be free from the effects of syphilis, therefore their tears are useless. There is also an indication that Blake feels sympathy for the prostitutes as he describes them as youthful. It hints that Blake understands that many of the women would have been prostitutes out of necessity from the extreme poverty felt by many people of the time. Throughout Composed Upon Westminster Bridge it is clear that Wordsworth is passionate about London. He says "The world has not anything to show more fair" which is powerful as it illustrates to the reader how struck Wordsworth is over his realisation of the beauty of London. ?? ?? ?? ?? Harry Hussey Page 1 ...read more.

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