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Poems Coursework

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Compare the impression of London in William Wordsworth' Westminster Bridge and William Blake's London. The two poems, 'London' by William Blake in approx. 1794 and 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802' by William Wordsworth, are both written about London; yet each poet shows different views on the city and both have very contrasting viewpoints. In the close analysis and comparison of these two poems, 'London' being a Shakespearian sonnet and Westminster Bridge being an Italian sonnet, makes apparent the very different uses of techniques and how this help to express the opinion of London. There are a few major themes that the two poets focus on in both of the poems, the first and arguably most prominent is landscape. This is where the expressions of the two poet's views become clear. In 'Westminster', Wordsworth talks about London being majestic and extremely impressive and pleasing to the eye. He uses many techniques, with personification being the most obvious. In lines 6-7 Wordsworth makes the link between nature and the industrious cityscape. ...read more.


This shows us house he feels the government has too much power over London and controls to much. This shows a very dull and lifeless side to the city, although in Wordsworths' poem thrives on the disguise and change in London, which is a very apparent contrast. Later on in 'London' Blake puts a more literal image in the third stanza. 'Every blackening church appalls' this not only has the literal meaning of the dirtiness of the buildings... but it can also be analyzed as showing the corruption in the church at this time and the lack of faith the exists in the city, and how people no longer feel that the church is a place of worship. London was a very religious city during this period and to have a very influential institute being in such a state of disrepair and being so crooked and corrupt puts an even more negative slant on his poem. People and Society play a major role in both poems also. Not so much in 'Westminster'... ...read more.


'The mind-forg'd manacles I hear'. Quite easily this shows that Blake feels that each person he meets is trapped and is desperately unhappy, but because of their mindset they have to stay like that, this could be seen as the governments doing if the rest of the poem is taken into account. This is yet again an extreme difference to the poem 'Westminster' the two are complete aspects when they are being compared according to this theme. Wordsworth constantly uses natural metaphors in his poems, and often explores nature as a theme, which makes the city of London sound elegant and pure. 'In his first splendor, valley, rock, hill.' these references are explicitly outlining the direct comparisons of nature and industrial and man made areas, 'valley' could be used to hint at the steep lows that London itself has to go through whereas 'hill' could be seen as showing the highs. Also other elements of nature are apparent when the poem is looked into more deeply, he includes many little words or phrases that are linked completely or subtly with nature, and puts them into perfect balance with London. ...read more.

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