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How do William Blake and William Wordsworth convey their ideas about London in their poems 'London' and 'Westminster Bridge'?

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How do William Blake and William Wordsworth convey their ideas about London in their poems 'London' and 'Westminster Bridge'? William Blake was born in 1757 into a middle class family. His father was working as a hosier but his mother was keen and the one in charge to educate his son well. Religion had a strong influence on Blake. He started reading the bible from an early age and this gave him inspiration in his later life; he apparently had visions of angels when he was young. He had a talent in drawing and had an endless appetite for reading, especially poetry. During his early career he became a professional engraver and rebelled against contemporary painters e.g. Josh Reynolds, Rubens etc. Later on he married an illiterate French woman called Catherine Butcher in 1792 and was later taught how to read and write and to engrave. Blake used to combine both his art and literacy skills when writing poems which helped other people understand the poem or to create a picture in your mind. In 1827 he died and was buried in Bunhill fields in London. Blake is still remembered as "the greatest artist Britain has ever produced". William Wordsworth was born in 1770 in Cumberland in the Lake District with both of his parents dying when he was very young. ...read more.


Secondly, the mood and the tone are completely different from each other due to the subject matter. In Blake's point of view, London advocated a dark and prophetic place. It suggests "marks of woe" from the working class people "and the hapless soldier's sigh runs in blood down palace walls" which tells us that conditions for soldiers were extremely appalling. They were in fact often ready to rebel against their harsh lives (like the peasants did against King Lewis VI during the French Revolution). The soldiers wrote often slogans like 'No King' on palace walls. He is saying that a similar movement might take place in Britain like the French Revolution did in France. It's also an apocalyptic and a politically outspoken poem especially when he symbolises people's lack of freedom as "mind-forged manacles" because the authorities and the church have fed ideas to the working class. This aspect makes the poem depressing and somehow it makes you feel guilty. By contrast Wordsworth's poem is very calm, peaceful and tranquil. 'Westminster Bridge' conveys a sense of admiration for "the beauty" and the "smokeless air". It's similar to a religious and spiritual experience with words like "calm so still" or "silent bare" which gives the feeling of freshness and purity. Normally Wordsworth was famous to be an admirer of nature but as well as that can admire cities and civilisations. ...read more.


The disgrace was that the father of the child would continue his normal relation with his wife and inevitably the disease would spread to her as well resulting in death. Blake didn't agree with the attitude of married men and marriage altogether. This is because instead of a union of two people that are in love it's the desire of making families wealthier. It was revolved around money which is morally wrong. In conclusion, there are many techniques and poetical devices that both Blake and Wordsworth use to convey their ideas in their poems. The language used in the poems is simple and powerful, so they stand out and make the important points memorable. Another way of emphasizing the ideas was to use rhyme, repetition, alliteration and personification. These techniques were used in the first place to communicate to the working class so that they would understand in the society they were living in. the contrast of the mood and tone between the poems gives the people the choice to believe whether London was a glorious or depressing and corrupt city to live in. These techniques that are able to express one's thoughts and feelings are still used in now-a-days however even if the topic was about politics or social issues it would be different to that of 200 years ago. In my opinion both Blake and Wordsworth were very successful in conveying their ideas because using repetition, personification and simple language I could tell what poet admired and disliked London's society and civilisation. ...read more.

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