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'Upon Westminster Bridge' and 'London' offer very different pictures of London. Give an account of both poems, bringing out the differences between the two poets views of London.

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Introduction

'Upon Westminster Bridge' and 'London' offer very different pictures of London. Give an account of both poems, bringing out the differences between the two poets views of London. 'Upon Westminster Bridge' by William Wordsworth. This poem is a sonnet, which is traditionally a love poem this shows even before you read the poem that William Wordsworth has definite like if not love for London. In the first eight lines, the octet, William Wordsworth gives nothing but a positive view of London. For example, the first line says 'Earth has not anything to show more fair'. His view is that although there is a whole world full of beautiful sites to see, nothing comes close to London. William Wordsworth uses lots of positive adjectives to describe London in the early morning. 'The beauty of the morning: silent, bare, Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie.' This quote suggests to me that he is describing London's skyline, in the 'beauty of the morning' as he looks from Westminster bridge. Although it has to be said if he wasn't looking at London in the morning, I doubt if he would be able to see any of London. This is because at around the 1800's London's skyline would be full of thick, suffocating black smoke this is due to all of the factories. ...read more.

Middle

By that line I think he's trying to say he sees the mark or scars of unhappiness and oppression, which is affecting every body. 'Marks of weakness marks of woe' to me this line reinforces my thinking about it meaning unhappiness, that is the mark on every ones face. The marks of 'weakness' and 'woe' suggest to me not only unhappiness but that the majority of the people in London at this point in time were under fed, underpaid and over worked. So much so that you could see how they felt you didn't need to ask. This stanza revolves around sight. In the second stanza there is a lot of repetition. 'In every cry of every Man, In every Infants cry of fear, In every voice, in every ban, The mind-forged manacles I hear.' On all the lines except the last one has the word 'every' at least once. The repetition of "every" just keeps stressing the point that the unhappiness affects every body and Blake is grouping the nations suffering together. On the first line Man has a capital 'M'. The capitol "M" is there to give the word 'man' more status and universal meaning. On the second line William Blake does it again except with the word 'Infant' again the capital 'I' is there to give the word status and universal meaning. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are many differences between 'Upon Westminster Bridge' and 'London' but there is only one similarity. The main differences are the styles in which the poems are set out and the meaning of the poems. Also Wordsworth is a romantic, while Blake is a realist therefore there poems would reflect there views. William wordsworth's sonnet gives a sense of London being a loved one, while William Blake's stanza format gives his poem a sense of regularity and monotony. So whilst Wordsworth has a positive poem with positive adjectives Blake is the complete opposite with all negatives. The only similarity is the period of time that it's set in and that's the 1800's. I prefer William Blake's 'London' as it is more realistic and true to how I picture London. When William wordsworth wrote his wrote his poem he wasn't standing on Westminster bridge, he was in France. Given this point and the fact that he is more of a romantic I can understand how if he couldn't remember fact he was more likely to think positive thoughts rather than negative. It also must be said that in the 1800's middle or upper class people wrote most if not all of the poems, and so most of the time there view of London would be entirely different to that of a working class Londoner. This is why I prefer William Blake's poem. ...read more.

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