Comparing Composed Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth and London by William Blake

Comparing Composed Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth and London by William Blake

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Comparison between William Blake and William Wordsworth’s Views of London

William Blake grew up in the slums of London and this is shown in his poem, he wrote his poem in the slums and back alleys of London as he never had very much money. He describes London as being “charter’d”, this gives us the impression that everything has rules and boundaries in London, and that there is no mystery to be discovered. Also chartered means on a map, almost as if it is owned, by the king perhaps. The line in which the word is on, “I wander through each charter’d street,
near where the charter’d Thames does flow,” makes us feel as if every thing is owned and nothing is natural, like all the people in London are prisoners of society
The ending line of stanza two tells us, “The mind-forg'd manacles I hear”, this is Blake’s way of showing to us that there are no free minds in London. Everyone had been brainwashed by society and they could not think for themselves because of that. In the next stanza Blake describes the corruption of the Church of England by mentioning, “Every black'ning Church apalls” this shows the dirtiness of the buildings and shows us that there is a possibility that he is a strong catholic. This line ties in very well with the line directly above it “How the chimney-sweeper's cry”, both of the lines are discussing how dirty and filthy London is. We could also think of these lines in a different way Blake could be telling us that the priests are corrupt and dirty rather than just physically dirty. In the final line of this stanza, Blake states. “And the hapless soldier's sigh, runs in blood down palace-walls.” This could be considered as another sign of corruption, and that monarchs are to blame for the death in London a...


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...f London, but they only do this because of their life before they wrote the poems. One poet grew up in the rich area outside London and moved there later, whereas the other poet grew up in the slums of London. They never had the chance to see London through each others eyes, if they had they may have thought differently of London. Both poets grew up and wrote about what each thought of the same place, London is a city that is magnificent and beautiful to the people who know it like that. Whereas it is filthy and dirty to the people who have grown up in those filthy dirty areas. In my opinion London is a place that is somewhere between these two extreme versions of it, a place where there is magnificent splendour but also a place where there is filth and poverty. Theses poems where written two hundred and six years ago and London has not changed that much since then.

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