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Romantic poetry is associated with intense and imaginative feelings. Explore and compare how Blake and Wordsworth compare such feelings in their poetry and comment on personal and historic trends that may have influenced their writing.

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Introduction

Poetry coursework: pre 1940 Coursework question: Romantic poetry is associated with intense and imaginative feelings. Explore and compare how Blake and Wordsworth compare such feelings in their poetry and comment on personal and historic trends that may have influenced their writing. Both William Blake and William Wordsworth express their views of London in their poems. However they both have very divergent views. Blake describes London as formidable and appalling. This could be because Blake is describing the east-end of London where people struggled in pour conditions, laboured in difficult jobs and in a poor environment. Blake also wrote his poem, 'London' during the Napoleonic wars. Also during the 1970s Blake associated himself with some of the more prominent radical thinkers and writers in England. Blake had independent views about politics which are evident even in his first book, 'To the Muses'. Blake also seemed to have an incident with a guard in which he was accused of sedition and was charged. This evidently proves that Blake was strongly against the government of that current time. All of this could have had a major effect on his writing. On the other hand Wordsworth describes London as ravishing. The cause of this could be because the area Wordsworth is describing is in the west end of the city where the aristocracy lived who would own palaces near royal residences (like the king himself) ...read more.

Middle

Blake also makes use of hyperbole when he says "And the hapless solders sigh Runs in blood down palace walls" Blake is using hyperbole here because the solders blood is not really running down palace walls, what he is trying to say is that the palace is responsible for the death of all the solders. Blake was known to have a vivid imagination. When he was nine, he told his parents that he had seen "a tree filled angels" on one of his walks, and later reported a similar vision of "angelic features walking." Blake never really outgrew theses visions. He was past fifty when he described seeing the rising sun as, "an incredible company of the heavenly host crying, Holy Holy Holy is the lord almighty". In the second stanza of Blake's poem he's describing the feelings of others when he says "In every cry of every man In every infants cry of fear, In every voice, in every ban, The mined-forged manacles I hear" The last line of this stanza is ambiguous because one idea is that you would see prisoners wearing manacles on their hands and shackles on their legs. Another idea is that because of all the laws and all the rules the people of London felt repressed in other words under political imprisonment and would blame the government for this. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another interpretation is that prostitutes are cursing families to break up and become of the obvious contempt a wife would feel at her husband's disloyalty. In this stanza he is also ambiguous when he says "Youthful harlots curse" One meaning is that the prostitutes are cursing their children and another meaning could be that their sexual behavior is putting a curse on the whole city because diseases are spreading as a result. These ideas are further supported by the final line, "and blights with plagues marriages hearse" 'Marriages hearse' is also a paradox because hearse means a funeral car and when you put it together with 'marriages' it doesn't seem to make sense. But if you go deeper in the meaning you will come to understand that he is trying to say that marriages are dying. In the last two lines of Wordsworth's poem he uses personification when he says "Dear god the very houses seem asleep; And the mighty heart is lying still" He describes the houses like they are sleeping. And London like it is lying which all contributes to the theme of restfulness running through the poem. He describes London as the 'mighty heart' because the heart is the main organ of the human body and so is the city the main city in the country. Talha vakharia year 10 2nd draft 03/06/2009 1,415 words ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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