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

How do the poems Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802(TM) by William Wordsworth and London(TM) by William Blake compare with each other?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Pre-1914 Poetry Coursework TASK: How do the poems 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802' by William Wordsworth and 'London' by William Blake compare with each other? Both 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' and London' describe the city of London but from different perspectives and in different contexts. Both poems were written at the outset of the Industrial Revolution at a time when the British Empire was beginning to flourish. Wordsworth describes the beauty of the city and its river whilst the city is asleep, whereas Blake focuses more on the lives of the people in the city and the appalling conditions in which they must survive. A notable difference between the two poems is their form and structure which, in turn, reflect their content. Wordsworth's poem is presented in the form of a Petrachan/Italian sonnet and the enjambment of many of the lines reflects the free flowing, natural beauty of London and the Thames and the liberty which, according to Wordsworth, the people of London have to enjoy. It is also a reflection of the expansiveness of the city and London's all-encompassing nature. Blake's poem has a songlike quality to it and has a constrained form consisting of largely monosyllabic words, arranged into quatrains of regular rhythm. The form is reminiscent of one of the poem's main themes; an attack on society and the institutions which place these hardships on its people. ...read more.

Middle

The beauty and splendour of the sun rise and the effect that it has on him is emphasised by his use of a comparative as a superlative, "Never did the sun more beautifully steep" (hyperbole). The imagery of the "bright and glittering" building silhouettes is also often associated with paradise and heaven. God is also invoked in the penultimate line which further adds to this paradisiacal effect. The unnatural beauty of the city is further explored when Wordsworth uses regal imagery in describing the sight of the rising sun as being "So touching in its majesty". This regal imagery also gives the impression that London is God's chosen city on Earth to represent him and so any one who can not feel the same way as he does about his snapshot of the city can be accused of being "dull of soul" (poor/dead in spirit). The use of 'temple" as opposed to church is also very significant. Churches are associated with Christianity which was only founded upon the death of Jesus Christ. However, Christ along with God's chosen people were Jewish and Jews did not pray at churches and so the reader is able to understand the sacredness of the city and the idea that God may have chosen it. A final shared theme is the freedom of the London people and the social values that are held. In 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge', the personified river which "glideth at his own sweet will" is a sign of the freedom which the poet believes the people of London can enjoy. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is very different to Blake's 'London' where the focus is more on the sense of hearing and consequently his language and imagery reflect this. In 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge' the atmosphere is one of calm, peace, wonder. The rising of the sun is so magical and awe-inspiring that according to Wordsworth one would have to be dead in spirit to not be touched by the sacredness of the city. Consequently the tone is mostly quite light-hearted and joyous. However this is in stark contrast to 'London' where the mood is grim, forlorn and depressing as a result of all the social evils and injustices being dealt out against the London people. This results in their being and 'firm' and 'hard tone. Jean Jacques Rousseau was a French philosopher who lived between 1712 and 1778 and said "Man is born free yet he is everywhere in chains". Wordsworth's and Blake's highly conflicting and contrasting poems each take opposing viewpoints on this claim. Whilst Blake seeks to show that Man truly is confined by society within which he lives and is forced by that society to obey without question the rules which it lays down and the bodies which govern it, Wordsworth is quick to show the reader that the people of London really do have a lot of freedom and, despite the buildings and industrial development, still has its own unique beauty which can be viewed by all. ?? ?? ?? ?? Bharrathi Sarvananthan (11M1) - 1 - Pre-1914 Poetry Coursework essay ...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 Comparisons 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 Comparisons essays

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

    His pessimism is particularly evident in his line, 'marks of weakness, marks of woe.', which is a continual tone throughout the poem. Wordsworth combines a very different view by his reference to London as a 'sight so touching in its majestic'.

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

    "Every blackening church appals, and the hapless soldier's sigh". This line from the poem shows that he is suggesting it is the Church's fault for turning a blind eye to the suffering around them, and also the government's for not getting the soldiers to help the public and keep order.

  1. How do the poets, Blake, and Wordsworth present children in their poems, "The Schoolboy" ...

    He uses the metaphor, "She was an elfin pinnace" these words show that young Wordsworth is drawn in by the beauty of the boat and is very impressionable, the line "Leaving behind her still on either side", these words show that Wordsworth is using personification to describe the boat which emphasises the idea of children being very impressionable.

  2. How The Poems "Ullyses" And "Oymandias" Explore The Effect Of Time On Heoes And ...

    and feel, and know not me", to slow down the rhythm to show just how bored Ulysses is. His boredom is caused by the effect of time against power, because as time went by he got older meaning he could not do what he used to do when he was young which lead him to his boredom.

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

    with the use of words like 'mare' and 'flags' which are used instead of their more formal names. This may be because of vernacular language as Clare would have spoken with a North Hampton shire accent. This poem contains no formal punctuation, which is unusual for the time it was written.

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

    In the poem London is described in a positive way and written as sonnet (a 14 line verse with each line containing 10 syllables).

  1. poem comparisonstwo different poems. The first is called 'Upon Westminster Bridge' by William Wordsworth ...

    This shows personification and imagery. Firstly it talks about the sun and how it relates to something we can understand and is not possible for the sun to actually do, in this way imagery is created. The same technique is used for the other quotes, as it shows the way something does something in a way that is not possible for it to actually do.

  2. Compare and Contrast the representation of London in Wordsworth's "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge September ...

    This City now doth, like a garment, wear The beauty of the morning; silent, bare, It is important that the speaker says that the beauty is being worn as he may be conceding that in the near future it may be removed through industrialisation.

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