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Compare and Contrast the representation of London in Wordsworth's "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge September 3, 1802" and Blake's "London"

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast the representation on London in Wordsworth's "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge September 3, 1802" and Blake's "London" Both Wordsworth and Blake both wrote their poems during industrialization in Britain and particularly and each tackles this issue at different angles. Wordsworth, the more romantic and idealistic poet decides to illustrate London when it as asleep and when industry is also at rest. Thus this poem is full f praise for London and its splendour. Blake however is far more hostile towards London and portrays it as a sickening and foul place which corrupts the young and innocent. The immediate contrast is that Blake describes London when it is night time and some would argue that this is the true London. The speaker in "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge" is clearly enchanted with London and it's beauty and uses a hyperbole to emphasis this. He also shapes his language in order to make the reader side with his point of view and an example of this would be in line two. Earth has not anything to show more fair Dull would be of sole who could pass by A sight to touching in its majesty The speaker uses the hyperbole of the opening line in order to state the view of which he will undoubtedly expand upon. The fact that he says that the Earth not man has not anything to show more fair is important as he is focussing on the natural element of London not the man made. ...read more.

Middle

The speaker hates the constrictions and pollution that industrialisation brings and sees the freedom and control that the Thames has as an escape. The speaker adores the purity cleanliness that nature brings however it is very na�ve of him to not realise that his cleanliness will soon be gone. In line 14 the speaker refers to London as "that mighty heart" again suggesting that he believes that it is the capital for nature and peace: "And all that mighty heart is lying still!" This powerful imagery is important as London will not be asleep for ever, like the speaker wants. It will soon wake up and reveal its true self, not the peaceful London the speaker craves. "London" is a poem written with alternate rhyming at roughly the same time at "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge" however both are vastly different. In "London" the speaker views London as a hellishly corrupt place full of misery and exploitation. It is clear form the poems that the speaker in "London" is far more the pessimist but the more realistic. The poem is written in the night revealing the worst, when all the speaker in "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge" writes about is the peace. In the first stanza the speaker speaks in disgust about the confines and restrictions in London and also about the pain and suffering that the people of London unknowingly endure. I wander through each chartered street, Near where the chartered Thames does flow And mark in every face I meet Marks of weakness, marks of woe. ...read more.

Conclusion

The speaker in "London" believes that soldiers are part of the system however they themselves are also unknowingly being suppressed. Line 12 contains a powerful metaphor in which the speaker declares that he believes that the blood of the soldiers is on royal hands. The fourth and final stanza concentrates on the corruption of marriage and the newborn: what should be sacred things. But most through the midnight streets I hear How the youthful harlot's curse Blasts the newborn infant's tear. And blights with plagues the marriage hearse. The fourth stanza describes in depth how chaotic life is in London, and this contrasts greatly with the speaker's representation of London in "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge" where he deems life peaceful and free. This may have some connection with the fact that "London" was set in at midnight, when "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge" was set at daybreak. It is clear that the speaker in "London" does not see the cycle of life as something holy, but as a cycle of corruption, blighted by STDs. He also attacks the reasons why the people marry and suggest that they do it for convenience rather than for love. The speaker uses imagery to portray his point: "And blights with plagues the marriage hearse" suggesting that husbands are unfaithful in marriage and as a result their marriages are dead before they have even begun. It is clear the speaker is disgusted at what the population have degraded themselves to, yet he blames the church and the rich for condemning them to a life of misery. The main point of contrast between the two ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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