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Compare and contrast the presentation of ‘London’ in ‘Upon Westminster Bridge’ and ‘London’ Free essay! Download now

Home > GCSE > English literature > Compare and contrast the presentation of ‘London’ in ‘Upon Westminster Bridge’ and ‘London’

Compare and contrast the presentation of ‘London’ in ‘Upon Westminster Bridge’ and ‘London’

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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 1850 | Submitted: 22-Oct-2005
Spelling accuracy: N/A | Number of pages: | Filetype: Word .doc

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A comparison on the content of the poems of William Wordsworth and William Blake

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Both poets’ poems are set at the time of the French Revolution, in which Blake began to write his books- Songs of Innocence and Experience, which includes his eminent poem ‘London’. ‘Upon Westminster Bridge’ was composed in 1802, the year in which Wordsworth married Mary Hutchinson. Both poems focus on London but discern from each other’s theme, structure, language and mood.
As Wordsworth was born at the time of the Romantic Movement, it is apparent his poem is essentially based on the idea of Romanticism. Although Romanticism is an extraordinary explosion of interests in all of the arts, it places more emphasis on the emotional experiences of individuals than on obedience to social rules. There is also an interest in childhood and psychological development.
Blake too believed in the principle of Romanticism; he contemplated that human beings are naturally virtuous, however the society and civilisation corrupts with rules. The corruptness of society and civilisation is exactly what you witness in the poem ‘London’. Blake disapproved of enlightenment rationalism of religion and the tradition of marriage predictable legal and social form. He clearly displays his immense odium towards the political oppression imposed by the authorities.
It has been said that at the time in which Wordsworth had written his poem, he was greatly in love with his other half that the vision of London at daybreak was enriched with sheer beauty and elegance that his poem is merely based on peace, love and splendour. Conversely, ‘London’ is the cycle of misery from the birth of the newborn to the prostitute mother. Blake combines death and destruction in his poem altogether, criticising London fir its sordidness, forced only by the authorities who hold power and deliberately impede on the innocence of the people, whom Blake meets and hears fear and repression in their voices.
‘Upon Westminster Bridge’ is one of the many outstanding sonnets Wordsworth wrote. However, this particular poem is a Petrarchan sonnet, divided into two parts. The first is an octave; the first eight lines of the poem with the rhyming scheme of an ABBA… The octave has two quatrains. The first presents the theme and the second develops it. The final six lines of the poem is a sestet, which typically answers the question or comments the idea of the poem. There’s a rhyming scheme of BCCDBD of the final lines of the Italian sonnet.
On the other hand, ‘London’ has four quatrains, with alternate lines rhyming, words such as “street…meet”, “flow…woe” and “cry…sigh” describes with a tolerable mixture of language and organization, the dilapidation of contemporary life in the city, taking in poverty and disease and particularly the ‘marks of weakness, marks of woe’. Blake’s use of repetition in the poem is the most prominent formal feature as it emphasises the occurrence of the horrors Blake describes.
Immediately, you can distinguish from both poems, which is the more serene, heavenly poem and which is the more sadistic, berated one. Despite this, even though ‘Upon Westminster Bridge’ is about the exquisiteness and calmness of daybreak of the city, Wordsworth had me fooled that his poem was to be based on mocking the creation of the universe when Wordsworth instigates from the ambiguous phrase:
“Earth has not anything fair…”
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