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

What different views of London do William Blake and William Wordsworth depict in their poetry?

Extracts from this document...


Pre-1914 Poems What different views of London do William Blake and William Wordsworth depict in their poetry? I have studied# two pre-1914 poems. They are named 'Upon Westminster Bridge' by William Wordsworth and 'London' by William Blake. Wordsworth writes about London in the morning when no one or nothing is around. The main setting of the poem is the scenery where everyone is still fast asleep and the factories have not started up. Wordsworth wrote about this to give people the impression London is the best place on Earth to be. The poet sees all this scenery from the famous Westminster Bridge. Blake however writes about the 'dirty streets' of London as he is walking along and how depressing London is. He also describes the people and workers of London. Blake writes about this because he wants people to get the impression that London is the worst and poorest place to be. William Wordsworth was a romantic poet. He always wrote about nature and the world at its best and most beautiful, perhaps because he lived in the Lake District. However, this poem was unusual in that he wrote about a city, especially London, because most people were used to him writing about nature, again because he lived in a natural place in the Lake District. On the opening line of 'Upon Westminster Bridge' the poet says, "Earth has not anything more beautiful to show more fair." The poet is describing the city and its view as beautiful and wonderful. ...read more.


I will now analyse the second poem 'London' written by William Blake. This poem unlike Wordsworth's is about the stricken and 'dirty' side of London, which has despair, poverty and depression. It is nothing like Wordsworth's vision of peace and tranquillity of London. William Blake wrote this poem in the middle of the night in 1794, which was around the same time as Wordsworth's, who wrote his 'Upon Westminster Bridge' in 1802. In this poem, Blake writes about the poverty and 'dirty streets' in London. The poet also mentions prostitution in London and how bad it is. This quote supports my idea, "how the youthful Harlots curse." This tells me that Blake did not think very highly of London and he doesn't like the disadvantages of it at all. He also makes out that there are hardly any advantages to be living in London at all. It also tells me he is angry and hurt that nothing has been done to stop or help the poverty. The poem has a scattered syllable count, unlike Wordsworth's, that had 10 on each line. Blake however sticks to a strict rhyme scheme. Blake's rhyme scheme is A, B, A, B, C, D, C, D, E, F, E, F, G, H, G, H. I would also say that Blake is writing a traditional poem that describes all the horrors that London have. I think the form does not relate to the title as the title is just 'London' and even though Blake does describe London, he doesn't actually relate to it all the time. ...read more.


Even though I feel angry, I cant help but feel sorry for the people in poverty as no one ever likes to see people in harm, poverty or homelessness. To conclude, I would like to point out a few similarities and differences between the two poems. Firstly, both of the poems are written around about the same time period (Blake - 1794, Wordsworth - 1802.) Both poems are also set in the same city - London. 'Upon Westminster Bridge' is set in the morning, at the break of dawn, 'London' however is set at night, in the pitch black. However, Wordsworth describes London as a place of beauty and peacefulness, whereas Blake writes about the stricken side of London and he writes about the poverty and hurt/pain that has been caused by unemployment etc. Wordsworth's London is deserted, whereas Blake gives the impression that his side of London is crowded. Both of these poems are formally written and are very traditional, both with a strict rhyme scheme and a very well worked syllable count. Finally, I would like to point out that Blake is more critical about the people in London as he is walking along, seeing all the beggars and prostitutes etc. sat there. The poet also blames the poverty he sees which is caused by the businesses that own parts of London and the poor themselves. Wordsworth however, I think is just amazed that he is seeing this view, as not many people get to see London deserted with no people there. This gave me the impression that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. ## ?? ?? ?? ?? Adam Binns ...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 William Blake 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 William Blake essays

  1. William Blake is a social critic of his time. Who does he criticise and ...

    The narrator is still stressing about the sadness and that all the people and depressed. In the first two lines Blake is still writing about chimney-sweepers. He mentions their sadness and that the Church is black because of all the soot from the sweepers.

  2. William Blake- subject, language and form

    It also is a powerful poem trying to convey the wrong nature of child chimney sweepers. The first line of the poem is a contrast where Blake puts "A little black thing" with the purity and white of the snow.

  1. William blake Poetry

    the poem like the repetition for the sun not shining and then something bad happening in stead like it raining. The alliteration enhances the effect of the children suffering going on non stop and never ending like the alliteration in "bleak and bare" theses pieces of alliteration effect the reader's

  2. William Blake - Blake is angry and critical about the attitude and values of ...

    The children are linked to nature again when the poet describes them in the second stanza, 'multitudes of lambs.' This metaphor is used by Blake to emphasize the children's youth and innocence. The poet also seems to be in awe of the children when he says, 'like a mighty wind they raise to heaven the voice of song.'

  1. I am going to compare three very different poems which have been written about ...

    The third and final poem I am going to look at is 'Daily London Recipe' by Steve Turner. The poem is an extended metaphor as it is written as a recipe and the people of London are described as the ingredients and the places around the city are described as the utensils or appliances.

  2. Write about 'The Lamb' and 'The Tiger' by William Blake. Explain how the poet ...

    This is very effective, because the opening stanza displays the poet's original query and his curiosity - he's basically pondering to himself who or what could've 'framed the fearful symmetry' of the tiger? As the poem progresses and Blake investigates and analyses deeper into the evidence, the poet realises something

  1. How do William Blake and William Wordsworth respond to nature in their poetry?

    The pronoun 'we welcome in the year' also shows us how everyone is unified in nature. Blake uses colour to expand the meaning of the sentence, "Come and lick my white neck." The adjective 'white' shows that the color white signifies purity.

  2. William Wordsworth and William Blake wrote poems about London, but they presented their views ...

    The sense of bondage is evident in "The mind-forged manacles ..." (8) with the word manacles conjuring images of chains of bondage. The sense of unchanging drudgery is in the repeated use of the word chartered: "each chartered street, / Near where the chartered Thames..."

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