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What ideas do Blake and Wordsworth present and how effectively are they presented?

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Introduction

What ideas do Blake and Wordsworth present and how effectively are they presented? By Natascha Pirrie Both poets lived through both the eighteenth and nineteenth century. I believe these poems were written just around the turn of the century. During this time the Industrial Revolution was underway and Britain was becoming a very advanced country. It was a time of big change for everyone and I think the poets both explain that in their poems. Not only was it the Revolution, it was about the same time as the Romantic Movement, when poets would write about beauty, love and purity. The whole population attended church every Sunday. They all believed God was ubiquitous (these people were called Pantheists). It was an extremely religious age and anyone who did not respect God would be treated with disrespect. Both poets had to remember this when they wrote their poems. Both poems are about the same place (London) but both poets have different views. In my opinion they are both harshly critical of the city and its population. William Wordsworth "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" is written in a fourteen line sonnet, the first eight describing the man made elements of London and the last six talking about the natural beauty. ...read more.

Middle

It is not quite clear on whether he is criticizing or complementing London. Taking into account the Wordsworth's most famous pieces are about the beauty of his lake district, it is not hard to imagine that this line is a criticism. When he then describes London as 'glittering in the smokeless air', it is clear that he is being sarcastic as the Industrial Revolution was underway, therefore the chimneys in London would have been blowing out thick black smoke. He also describes London as being 'calm', which is not possible as it is the capital of England, therefore it would have been full of life, even in 'The beauty of the morning'. In Contrast to all this, William Blake's poem expresses his feelings in a more abstract style. His poem, 'London' is written in four verses consisting of four lines each. The title is Colloquial and each verse is an enjambment. There is a mixture of seven and eight syllables per line. Assonance is used in every line making it more interesting. He uses alternate line rhyming to make it sound regular which helps accentuate the last word of each line. ...read more.

Conclusion

Marriage is supposed to be a happy occasion, an appropriate time for sexual intercourse. I think that Blake believed marriage was an institution that would carry you to your death bed through infidelity, as this was hinted to lead to the end of civilisation. Overall Wordsworth's poem is less melodramatic in its outlook as it just describes London at one moment in time, it does not talk about the inhabitants of the city or the future for everyone in it. Wordsworth invokes Gods name in the penultimate line: "Dear God! the very houses seem asleep" This in my opinion is because he is so overwhelmed by the tranquillity of London. In contrast nowhere does Blake use direct speech to amplify any of the emotions. Both poems show feelings of both disgust and concern for the city, each poet having their own personnel views. If I had to pick one of these poems it would be William Blake's 'London' as he talks about the reality of things unlike Wordsworth who is just optimistic about everything. Blake is more clear cut with the meanings of the words he uses. His poem is provoking and also more emotionally charged and melodramatic. It seems almost true as most of the issues he discusses are still relevant in London today. ...read more.

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