Comparison of William Blake's London and Wordsworth's Composed Upon Westminster Bridge

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During the late 18thcentury and early 19thcentury when William Blake was living in London, he showed that London was indeed a terrible place to live and the living standard was devastating and he expressed his personal passionate anger towards the underlying problems in the society despite the fact that London was a cosmopolitan city at the time and certainly the one of the busiest commercial centres in the world. His poem had great meaning and targeted those who were in the higher class who knew how to read. He showed how different people in London were linked together within one depressing society. Nevertheless in, “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge” by William Wordsworth, he presented the other side of the arguments. First it was a sonnet and the poem was certainly positive and showed the adoration of London from the use of language. Secondly he was the future King’s laureate, so he was likely to be biased and try the hide any negatives facts about London at that time and to make the King’s caputal sound absolutely wonderful. Blake was an idealist who strongly upheld his political and religious views in criticizing the conditions of London at that time. His poem reflected his perspective of London from his firsthand experience of the horrific conditions in which people live and worked. “I WANDER THROUGH EACH CHARTERED STREET, NEAR WHERE THE CHARTERED THAMES DOES FLOW” LINE 1-2 Blake was walking through the streets of London witnessing people rushing in and out of this commercial place. Merchants came along with ships of goods from every part of the globe, eager to trade along the busy River Thames. However they seemed to be living without a soul as they were mentally chained, as there weren’t any better jobs and they w... ... middle of paper ... ...mokeless air.” Line 6-8 He started a list of physical things that he could see including important infrastructure of symbolism, e.g. ships indicated trade, towers indicated the King’s palace and defense, Domes indicated St. Paul Cathedral, etc. These all merged together which just extent the splendor of it. At that time London was smaller than nowadays, however it was still impossible to see fields from Westminster. He was stretching the truth so the poem would go smoothly with natural wonders mentioned in the entire poem. At this point Wordsworth started to develop a paradox, he used the word “bright”, “glittering” and “smokeless” to describe the air quality of London nevertheless it contradicted with the reality as the industrial revolution was occurring at that time. Factories needed to burn woods to generate heat so the air should be cover with smoke.
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