Explore the different ways the poets describe the city of London in their poems. Explore the different ways the poets describe the city of London in their poems. You should consider the poems equally and use the texts to support your ideas. The poems ‘London’ by William Blake and ‘composed upon Westminster Bridge’ by William Wordsworth are both a description of the same city, however they both take opposite viewpoints when describing their own perception. In the poem ‘London’, Blake takes a negative view of the city.
London by William Blake and Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth This essay aims to compare and contrast the differences and similarities between the two poems 'London' and 'Upon Westminster Bridge'. They both create powerful, contrasting images but are both similar in the use of language and exaggeration. The first poem to be commented upon is 'London' by William Blake, written a couple of decades before the second poem written by William Wordsworth. William Blake negatively describes London and uses the first person narrative to make it seem as if it were him wandering the lonely streets of London. He creates a woeful and miserable impression of the capital city of England.
At first I was pretty disappointed in the conclusion of Blake’s poem; however, after rereading it over and over again, I realized that it is obligatory in order to restate, once again, the central theme of “London.” Consequently, I can not think of a more suitable way to depict the terrible effects that an authoritative government has on a society! Bibliography: Blake, William. “London.” The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer.
Comparison of Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth and London by William Blake Throughout the coursework I will refer to William Wordsworth as Wordsworth and William Blake as Blake. The poems of Wordsworth and Blake are both about London however, Wordsworth’s poem was written when he came to visit London whereas Blake lived in London. Wordsworth’s poem is about the finery of London one can see this as he writes in line 1; “Earth has not anything to show more fair:” Whereas in Blake’s poem he does not write about the praise of London although he loved London we are told he sees that London has its bad points. In Wordsworth’s poems there is an absence of people whereas in Blake’s poem it talks about people a lot of the time. In Wordsworth’s poem he refers to London as a person this is a personification.
The fact that both writers paint contrasting images of London, suggests during the period, hatred amongst people between distant areas was common. I will explore how both these poets represent the city by focusing on the language and poetic techniques used in more depth. To begin, I will show you how William Blake uncovers London constructing a daunting atmosphere. Generally he was a religious human being, and believed only god was capable of fulfilling demanding tasks. This reflects why he writes about London negatively, as at the time the city was full of rich and powerful people seen to have godlike qualities.
Comparison of London by William Blake and Lines Composed upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth 'Earth has nothing to show more fair', taken from William Wordsworths 'Lines composed upon Westminster Bridge,' could not be more of a contrast to the way William Blake describes what he sees in his poem 'London'. William Wordsworth and William Blake both wrote their poems within a very similar time, yet they are completely different in all aspects. 'Lines composed upon Westminster bridge' by William Blake describes London as the most beautiful place in the world yet 'London' by William Blake could not be more different. Blake wrote 'London' in 1794. Immediately by the title you think bright lights, showbiz and glamour, as it is the capital of the country, England's showpiece.
He's saying that London is like a beautiful woman and he admires it in the same way. What adds to this effect is how Wordsworth refers to other elements of the poem as 'he'; 'â€¦In his first splendour, valley, rock or hill', 'the river glideth at his own sweet will'. This gives us the image that everything else is ugly and inferior to the beauty of the city. The use of the third person to describe the city gives an impression to the reader of personification, this allows the reader to empathise and relate to what the author is describing because instead of describing the subject as a mere object the author has given it a sense of character. Personification is present throughout the poem, for example, 'This city now doth, like a garment, wear the beauty of the morning; silent, bare'.
The idea of incorporating such exaggerated punctuation as an exclamation mark that Wordsworth uses in his poem brings me onto my next point. Wordsworth conveys his positive feelings for grandeous London by using exclamations. William can convey his feelings both through how the reader is instructed to read the poem and how the reader is then able to visualise the emotion through those exclamations on the page. Composed upon Westminster Bridge has been divided poetically into firstly an octet and secondly a sextet. A reader does not visually see a break in stanza but when read, the reader is aware of a change in tone.
The two texts are both different forms of poetry, composed in the latter half of the nineteenth century with the city of London at the heart of each piece. However in terms of style and perspective, they differ greatly from each other. The first piece, a sonnet composed by William Wordsworth, one of the most famous writers of the eighteenth century, conveys a sense of celebration for all the triumphs and beauty of London whereas the second piece by William Blake uses his writing to provoke the reader by telling of London’s corruption and plight, the two pieces could not differ more. The first piece, entitled Composed upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth, takes the form of a sonnet, which poets have used throughout the ages to display their dexterity and skill, which Wordsworth uses as a vehicle to convey to the reader his sense of love and celebration for the city of London. As Wordsworth was a Lakeland poet, traces of his original subject matter can be found in the piece such as in the line ‘Open unto the fields, and to the sky’ which is followed by on the proceeding alternate line, ‘Never did sun more beautifully steep In his first splendour, valley, rock or hill’, this gives an example of enjambment to add emphasis to ‘In his first splendour’, the line also gives an example of Wordsworth deploying powerful natural imagery to give reference to London’s beauty which can be compared to many natural wonders.
pg. 760). All in all, these novels bring us back to the beginning of the main theme, with the evidence unfolded through the Romantic emotion over reason, with expressing their own moral beliefs. Furthermore, with this English poetry the reader is able to define the Romantic emotions over reason, in discovering that Jean-Jacques Rousseau, William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Keats, with their true feelings of deep passion emotions are the despite of nature. Therefore, the reader could relate to these well-written poets, with the power of their nature in the philosophical Romantic beliefs.