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How do Wordsworth and Blake convey their feelings about London, in their poems? William Wordsworth (1770-1850) wrote the sonnet, 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge'

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Introduction

How do Wordsworth and Blake convey their feelings about London, in their poems? William Wordsworth (1770-1850) wrote the sonnet, 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge', in the year 1804. The title has a double meaning; 'composed' as in written by and 'composed' meaning he was feeling calm and settled when he wrote the poem. Wordsworth lived in the Lake District; therefore he was only visiting London. I feel that this has affected his opinion and feelings for London because it was so different to his own home. Wordsworth is biased towards London in his poem and he is only picking out the good aspects of the city. His poem is a eulogy, praising London and its beauty. His poem is set in London, in the early hours of the morning. It is said, that he wrote the poem shortly after crossing Westminster Bridge on a coach with his sister Dorothy, early one bright summer morning. There are many words and phrases, which suggest that the poem is set in the morning, like 'the very houses seem asleep' and 'beauty of the morning'. He mentions how the rising of the sun increases the beauty of London, as he says 'never did the sun more beautifully steep'. Wordsworth's use of language is very important, as he uses many words like 'fair', 'beauty', 'calm', 'asleep' and 'touching' to describe his feelings towards London. ...read more.

Middle

Wordsworth uses many similes and metaphors in his poem. The phrase 'This city now doth, like a garment wear' is obviously a simile, because the poet is suggesting that the city is like a 'garment'. I have also noticed that this phrase is a personification, because a city could not wear a garment, therefore it is being given human qualities. Another personification that I have noticed is 'The river glideth at his own sweet will'. The river has been personified, as if it is choosing to flow. The last line is very important to the poem, as it describes London as being the heart of the country. This is a metaphor, because it implies that London is a heart. Wordsworth is telling us that London has not woken up yet by using the words 'lying still'. The use of metaphors and personification help the reader to understand exactly what the poet is describing. Wordsworth was obviously in awe of London, because he is admiring everything around him. He has centred his poem on the success and beauty of the city. William Blake's poem, 'London', was written in the early nineteenth century. His poem describes the horrid and dirty scenes that are to be seen in London. The poem is more of a study of people who suffer to create London's success; people like the 'hapless soldier', 'harlot' and the 'new born infant'. ...read more.

Conclusion

These repetitions are emphasising universal suffering. Blake has used antithesis while describing the 'blackening church'. We already know that he hated the church and that he thought that they didn't help the poor at all, and his feelings for the church are shown in the poem. The word 'blackening' does not come to ones mind while describing the church. Blake has used this word, to describe the visible black fumes and smog coming from the factories, and to describe his feelings towards the church, therefore it has a double meaning. The word 'manacles' means handcuffs, therefore, when Blake said 'mind-forged manacles', he was describing how the people's minds were controlled by the government as if they had no rights. There is a link towards the French Revolution here, because the peasants overthrew the government in France, and Blake is suggesting that the same could happen in Great Britain; therefore unlocking the 'manacles'. The word 'chartered' is also used to describe how the ordinary people of London had no rights, as Blake says 'each chartered street'. The word is used again while describing the river: 'the chartered Thames does flow'. Blake is implying that even the River Thames needs a right to flow. There is a case of irony here, as the city and river has rights, but the people of London don't. Blake lived in London, therefore he would of grown up in the city, with all the poverty and diseases. Blake obviously hates London, and succeeds in giving the message across in the poem. ...read more.

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