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

Compare the poets(TM) attitudes to, and the presentation of, the city in London and Composed upon Westminster Bridge, Sept 3, 1803

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare the poets' attitudes to, and the presentation of, the city in "London" and "Composed upon Westminster Bridge, Sept 3, 1803" The two poems, 'London' and 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge', show two different perspectives of the city and its inhabitants. Both poems illustrate the poets' views on London which are quite diverse yet still have similarities in their respective outlooks. 'London' portrays Blake's views about the city and the people that inhabit it as a direct comment on the oppressive, industrialised, hierarchical society in which it was written, emphasizing some of the key themes of the poem including suffering, corruption and devastation. In comparison we see the poem 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' in a very different light. It demonstrates the beauty of the city and its freedom describing London as a majestic sight. These poets from the Romantic period in literature believed that children were innocent and uncorrupted, vulnerable yet a source of hope, "A child more than all other gifts that earth can offer to declining man, bring hope with it, and forward-looking thoughts". Both poets convey their anger and concern about the corruptive influence that the older and more powerful members of society had on the rest of the population. ...read more.

Middle

As well as this Blake uses the traditional form of alternate rhyming lines to replicate the repetitive predictability of the circle of suffering. Another key contrast between the poems is the volume of people around the city. Blake uses the technique of repetition to reiterate and emphasize that this suffering is everywhere. We see this when he writes, 'In every cry of every man... In every voice, in every ban.' This gives us the impression that the poem is one of protest and the word 'ban' in particular suggests an anti law attitude from Blake and a view that people's freedom is compromised. Freedom is a key theme demonstrated in both poems however in completely different ways as Wordsworth presents the city with freedom whilst Blake portrays a city where its people and even children are enslaved. This is conveyed when he writes, 'The mind-forged manacles I hear.' This suggests that it isn't just external restrictions that were placed upon the people of London, but they themselves allow those in power to place the restrictions by not fighting the injustice of it all and so the people are now powerless to change anything. ...read more.

Conclusion

This complies with the normality of the sonnet technique, as most have a subtle change in either rhythm, pace or tone after the 8th line. In conclusion, both poems depict different views of the city, however unlike Blake's 'London', Wordsworth's 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge' contains underlying ideas and beliefs that I feel play a key role in revealing Wordsworth's feelings and outlook. A key idea in Wordsworth's poem is that, although things such as the city appear beautiful and free, this is not necessarily the reality. This conveys a contrast of appearance vs. reality. This is different to Blake's outlook that clearly portrays the suffering and corruption found in city life. In some aspects the poems, when read together, could be interpreted in a manner that Blake's 'London' is exposing the hidden city presented in Wordsworth's poem. The two poems share many common themes including corruption, freedom and restriction, facade and truth. Both writers, in my opinion, are criticising every aspect of society and together depict a strong message that society produces confines and corruptions in people and institutions. It's interesting to consider what Wordsworth and Blake would make of the big brother, nanny state in which London now exists. ...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 Upon Westminster Bridge and London

    "Earth has not anything to show more fair, Dull would he be of soul who could pass by, A sight so touching in its majesty..." In these lines Wordswoth is merely building an image of something transcendent and delicate. London was a very hectic and industrial city, so by holding

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

    It's also made me realise that things in London in the present day haven't changed much. The roads are actually chartered in central London with an expensive congestion charge, the rivers have strict rules for boats and moorings, many people have a very low income and can only just get by.

  1. Compare and contrast the presentation of London in Composed upon London Bridge and London

    The next three lines of Wordsworth's poem are a complete contrast; here he has presented London with an image of freedom and openness. The two poets now describe the sounds that they can here, for William Blake they are cries of pain "In every cry of every man" this implies

  2. In the poems, Composed on Westminster Bridge: Sept. 3, 1802 by William Wordsworth and ...

    Just as Blake fails to acknowledge a single positive element of the city, Wordsworth naively overlooks the more realistic aspects, such as 'smokeless air', which would have been impossible at the height of the Industrial Revolution. Blake's use of effective imagery, such as 'mark in every face I meet, marks of weakness, marks of woe.'

  1. Compare the presentation of relationships in "My Last Duchess", "Porphyria's Lover" and "The Laboratory".

    cherries" given by some "officious fool" and "the white mule she rode with round the terrace". He believes that the four things are of different value and should not be valued equally. The Duke justifies that although it is good to be thankful and show gratitude to men, but as a Duchess, she should not be so "easily impressed".

  2. Compare and control the environment portrayed in the poems London and Sonnet

    While reading the poem we get an impression that we are zooming in to the scene from a distance, first looking at the clouds and then the flowers and moor hens. The poem then ends by giving us a close-up image of water beetles "in the clear lake play".

  1. Compare and contrast the way Blake and Wordsworth view and describe London in their ...

    and to the sky; all bright and glittering in the smokeless air. Also Blake says 'but most through midnight streets I hear how the youthful harlot's curse' meaning all he hears is distress and depression as he goes around London but Wordsworth is opposite to that and says London is

  2. Compare and Contrast how Blake and Wordsworth depict London

    He emphasises negative aspects of life in London. He ignores people who may be happy with their lives. By omitting any reference to people who don?t fit his model, Blake can use hyperbole extensively - such as in the repetition and stress of ?every?: In every cry of every man In every Infant?s cry of fear, In every

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