Comparing the Poets' Use of Language To Present Their View of London in Composed Upon Westminster Bridge by Wordsworth and London by Blake

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Comparing the Poets' Use of Language To Present Their View of London in Composed Upon Westminster Bridge by Wordsworth and London by Blake London was, is and undoubtedly always will be, a city of enormous interest and controversy, especially for those employed in the field of writing. The two poems, 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge', 1802, by William Wordsworth and 'London', 1794, by William Blake, demonstrate this through their opposing views. The intention of both William Blake and William Wordsworth was to portray their own deeply felt views of London in their poems. They exhibit contrasting perceptions of the city based upon their conflicting observations, and, indeed, their very different literary aims. Blake depicts a gloomy perspective in his poem, 'London', whereas Wordsworth's tone is bright and buoyant and he paints an optimistic picture of the city in his work, 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge'. Blake chooses to describe London at night, 'midnight streets', so that he can reinforce the theme of London's murkiness - representing a dark and dismal city, full of misery. Wordsworth, on the other hand, describes London in the morning, 'The beauty of the morning', and expresses his admiration for its architecture with, 'towers, domes, theatres and temples lie ... All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.' He writes that London is incomparable, indeed, he describes London with the intensity of emotions directed towards one beloved, which contrasts with Blake's bleak portrayal of the very same metropolis. The two poems use similar literary devices, but to very different effect, to describe their thoughts about... ... middle of paper ... ...oems, one gathers a sense of the different ways the two poets have manipulated language to fit their theme and view. The two starkly contrasting poems use vocabulary, structure and imagery to stir opposite emotions in the reader, but of the same city. Perhaps these differing views stem from the poets' own backgrounds: Wordsworth was brought up in a middleclass home in Cumbria, where he attended a grammar school. The Lake District was no doubt the inspiration for many of his poems telling of the beauty of nature. Blake, however, was born and lived in London, and eked out a living as an engraver. He was surrounded by industry, constrained by the nature of human beings and the quality of institutional organisation. The reader senses these different lifestyles when reading the two poems and observing their use of language.

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