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

How do Blake and Wordsworth use language to present their view of London?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English Coursework Compare 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge' by William Wordsworth to 'London' by William Blake. At the turn of the nineteenth century William Wordsworth and William Blake compose contrasting poems about London. The metropolis had industrialized freely through generations, providing scope for erudite depictions. Blake's poem, 'London' was recorded at night and illustrates a corrupt and cynical view, where as 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge' by Wordsworth, implies a hallucinatory effect of a 'bright and glistening' city in the early morning; establishing an ecstatic attitude towards London. An outsider to London, Wordsworth was born to a middle class family in Cumberland and educated at a local grammar school. He was travelling by carriage across Westminster Bridge when writing his sonnet. Westminster was growing in importance for the established rich, it had great political significance. Being the home to Westminster Abby and St James' Palace the view would have been 'a sight so touching in its majesty,' this implies a picturesque setting making the reader feel secure. However, Blake's perspective was first hand. He lived and toiled with the working class people in London. His father was a hosier, so Blake's life was influenced by the Industrial Revolution - this is reflected in the attitude he has towards his poem. ...read more.

Middle

The French Revolution was taking place in the poets' lives; both became rebellious as young men; Wordsworth changed to being very conservative as he lived in the society being fought - the aristocracy. Blake did not change because of the poverty that surrounded him. In the last stanza Blake talks about the 'youthful Harlot's curse...blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.' In Blake's times harlots were rife along with sexually transmitted diseases, like syphilis, which were easily passed from one to another. Wives therefore became infected and so did children, they were condemned to death, although some may have seen it as a way to escape from the trap they found them selves in. Also, 'manacles' could be symbolic. In another of his works 'A Poison Tree,' Blake writes 'my wrath did grow,' showing the dark side of human nature, and how it can be dispelled by goodwill; similar to the restrictions of 'mind-forged manacles' chains are constricting and so is the mind, nevertheless chains can be broken. The reader recognises the inevitability of the monotonous strife to survive and is led to feel sympathetic towards the people of London, but also understands Blake's anger. ...read more.

Conclusion

This may also relate to 'all that mighty heart is lying still,' this metaphoric term conveys Wordsworth's love through exaggeration and signifies that people are dependant for protracted life; Wordsworth could be referring to the quiescent factories. Wordsworth uses enjambment to seal this effect. Where as in 'London' the iambic pentameter structure constructs a sharp and abrupt staccato to the lines configuring a rigid poem, denoting Blake's judgment of a constrained London fa�ade. The effect that Blake sought to have on the reader was to introduce the feeling that London was a desperate and isolated place to live. Both poems evaluate very different views of the same city. Through out his sonnet, 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge,' Wordsworth expresses his elated and ecstatic love of London by using an array of techniques particularly personification, enjambment and metaphors. Blake on the other hand displays ridged techniques in his poem 'London:' he uses difficult metaphors, iambic pentameter and critical analysis of the upper classes and church to create a forceful and deterred representative of London. In displaying their individual perspectives the poets create contrasting works, Wordsworth displays an idyllic city where as Blake describes a place of disaster. ...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 Pre and Post 1914 Comparison 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 Pre and Post 1914 Comparison essays

  1. Trace the history of "the old lie" with particular reference to the poetry of ...

    Only the monstrous anger of the guns". This conveys to the reader that the lives of soldiers were treated merely as numbers and that most soldiers were cannon fodder whose only purpose was to die a meaningless death on the front line, only marked by the continuous shooting of the guns.

  2. Comparison of The Daffodils(TM) by William Wordsworth and Miracle on St David(TM)s Day(TM) by ...

    The length of the poem is perfect and I like the fact that it is based on somebody's actual experience, which adds depth to the poem. I think that the idea of having the first three verses of the poem about the actual experience and the last one about him

  1. Essay Question: Discuss both poets of murder, revenge and violence in Salome by Carol ...

    "Quick" on its own shows how excited and manipulative the speaker is when choosing to kill by deception. She enjoys the images conjured up by her evil plans. Also, she is arrogant to believe that what she is doing is right.

  2. Compare Wordsworths view of London in Composed Upon Westminster Bridge with that of Blake ...

    After his study he went to France to see and support the French Revolution, which was in 1790. Wordsworth supported revolutionary forces in Europe, but towards the end of his life, he had changed his mind. After the French Revolution, Wordsworth returned back to England, where he went to live in London and published several bodies of work.

  1. How do Blake and Wordsworth use language to present their view of London

    Blake's attitude to society shows London to be controlled and restricted to the poor. This is shown by the use of the word "charter'd' which is in the beginning of the poem. 'I wander through each charter'd street, Near where the charter'd Thames doth flow' Charters were given, by the

  2. Compare and contrast the poems upon Westminster bridge, by William Wordsworth and London by ...

    Pauls cathedral and "theatres" meaning Shakespeare's 'globe' while the identity of the "ships" and "temples" remains anonymous. The next line "Open unto the fields, and to the sky" is written to suggest instead of factories and warehouses of the industrial revolution encompassing the city and blotting its sky with smog London nestles between idyllic countryside with clear sky's.

  1. Composed upon westminister bridge

    I believe that William Blake's is the most successful poem because his purpose is to create a pessimistic opinion of London, but whilst doing this he is using emotive language to describe true facts and not just using emotive language.

  2. Compare and Contrast the two poems London and Composed Upon Westminster Bridge

    the London lifestyle, and present a more realistic image of the workings of London society. Consequently, he cannot even come close to forming such a happy, optimistic view of London as Wordsworth. His portrayal of London is set deep in the night, and with it comes all that we associate with darkness.

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