• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9

William Blake's

Extracts from this document...


Heather Glazier Dr. Anne McWhir English 440.01 09 Dec. 2004 William Blake's "London" & William Wordsworth's "London, 1802" The figure of the poet as it pertains to William Blake and William Wordsworth is different according to the perception of most analysis. Blake addresses a universal audience in a prophetic voice, taking the role of the poet upon himself often using a mystical tone. In contrast Wordsworth uses language specific to all and directs his writing to ordinary people writing as an ordinary person reacting to his own personal experiences. It is notable that these two poets who write from such different perspectives both ably and similarly portray the dark side of human existence ensuing from the drastic changes attending the transformation of an agrarian economy to an industrial one and the French Revolution in "London" and "London, 1802". Both Blake's "London" and Wordsworth's "London, 1802" paint a picture of a society that is in decline and in need of desperate need of rescue if a cherished quality of life for all is to be accessible again. Blake's "London" is a biting commentary on the state of the city as a result of the effects of the Industrial Revolution and while Wordsworth's "London, 1802" is more contemplative in form it too criticizes the current state of London and England following industrialization and the French Revolution. ...read more.


The final stanza is one filled with powerful images like that of the "youthful Harlot's curse" (14.35) that alludes to the practice of forcing young girls into prostitution and laments marriage as an institution in decline. The practice of marrying for interest alone rather than any consideration of love led men to search for fulfillment elsewhere and the economics of the time forced many young women of lower classes into prostitution. The "midnight streets" (13.35) symbolize the dark nature of the morals of society where the birth of illegitimate children and disease abound as a result of this practice. The curse of the harlot "blasts the newborn infants tear" (13.35) seems to be a mourning cry for the death and destruction of family values also lost in the forced marriages of the day. Finally the poet joins marriage to death in the image of the "marriage hearse" (14.35), an image, that Freedman says, originates in "the sexual and economic exploitation of women by the men of respectable society" (3) in a society rife with venereal disease. The images created by Blake in this stanza are the final pieces spawning a bleak image of London that is full of horror and apathy that afflict the very institutions that have created it. Blake the prophet has effectively written a universal message that transcends London and time and carries a warning that applies as much now as it did in 1794. ...read more.


Wordsworth wrote "London, 1802" in response to his own reactions to the changes brought on by the Industrial Revolution and the materialism that it brought with it. He disliked the corruption and pollution that accompanied it and wished for a return to a simpler, less obviously wicked time. He invokes Milton on behalf of England but it is also his own personal need he is voicing. He is warning that unless people wake up and realize the effects materialism is having they will be the losers in a society that no longer considers the needs of mankind. This disregard of each other can only lead to the demise of civilized society. These two poems written from divergent positions accurately convey the same images of a society in decline. Blake as the omniscient observer and Wordsworth as the concerned patriot/poet both paint a picture of the woes and trials of a society immersed in the effects that materialism and corruption brought on by the Industrial revolution. They contain dire warnings that mankind must change their ways are dire or the consequences will be terrible and price of whatever is gained will be too high to countenance. The fact that the messages of both these poems transcend time and strike home today as strongly as they did when they were written is the most striking aspect of these two poems in my mind. ...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. The Analysis of William Blake's 'The Tyger and the lamb'.

    The Tyger symbolizes adult life it has knowledge and is therefore given chose. The Lamb symbolizes a child's life .A child is innocent and has no knowledge; it does not need the need choice and is therefore content.

  2. William Blake- subject, language and form

    The rhyme scheme is ABAB although odd Para-rhymes are present for example "fly" and "mystery". Many components of this poem echo the bible such as imagery and words. The first stanza has an arrogant tone one which is strange to Blake's writing.

  1. Stereotyped Reactions to Regional Accents.

    Student's t-tests were used to investigate the departure of the difference scores from zero for each trait and for both groups of Ss. After this, again for each trait, the means of the difference scores for the two groups were compared using t-tests.

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

    Just the fact that Blake wrote two poems about chimney sweeping and that they both showed the profession in a negative way, shows us that Blake obviously disagreed with children working as chimney sweeps. In the innocence poem Blake starts off with the first two stanzas showing the sadness of

  1. Practical Criticism:

    The (pertinent) industrial imagery (discussed below) like "furnace" and "chains" and "anvil" call forth the repetitive clanking of factory sounds which combine with the thumping "dread" heartbeat and progression of "dread feet" of stanza three. All this: metre, industrial diction, heart beat, and repeated alliterations of 't', 'b' and 'd' combine in my head to produce a very powerful audible sensation.

  2. English Literature Commentary

    Inside the cabinet is where we find "another London with its tower" - Blake uses to represent a temporarily forgotten evil of which the real city contained and the imaginary one within the cabinet was freed from. The cabinet that is described through the second stanza is a cabinet full of dreams and light, of beauty and no fright.

  1. Was September 11 2001 a turning point in world history?

    'Two years on, the survivors of September 11, and the relatives and friends of those who died still suffer. Two years on, their pain and loss is not forgotten, and will be recalled again today in countless public and private memorials.

  2. How do selected poets use language to create a sense of place? You should ...

    Metaphors are used on a number of occasions to create a sense of the reader actually being present at the time. "The heavens are all a-blaze, the face of night Is covered with a sanguine dreadful light". The reader often expects poems to end on a light note, however, this

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