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A Comparison Of Blake And Wordsworth’s View Of London

1096 words - 4 pages

A Comparison of Blake and Wordsworth’s view of London
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William Wordsworth and William Blake both wrote popular poems about
London, but their views of it were very different, this could be
because of the way they grew up. Blake was brought up in the city and
saw the more poverty-driven and polluted side to London whereas
Wordsworth writes about the beauty and peaceful view of London. He may
have seen this side because he was born and bred in the beautiful
countryside in the North of England.

Blake is walking down the dirty streets of the capital city and talks
about the pain and emotion in the people he sees, “in every cry of
every man”. Blake considers the onlooker’s emotions and the actual
streets and dark side to the city compared to Wordsworth who focuses
on the beauty and natural side to London. Blake blames all of the
poverty and damage in London on the authorities and the “black’ning
church,” he thinks it’s because of their lack of awareness and care to
London’s citizens that it has got this way. He uses logical and
considered tone in the structure of “London.”

Wordsworth’s sonnet is a very, romantic and optimistic poem about
London. To Wordsworth, London is beautiful, as beautiful as the
countryside or a more natural landscape; he doesn’t see all of the
urban buildings and busy streets. Unlike Blake, Wordsworth sees the
natural splendour of the capital “the beauty of the morning” rather
than the dreary way of life Blake focuses on. Wordsworth only chooses
to see the beautiful “garment” that London wears to cover up the grimy
and gloomy city behind it. He has a really peaceful and unruffled view
of the city “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge,” he considers it serene
and “so touching in all its majesty.” He concentrates on the beauty
and physical aspect of London rather than the emotions of the people.
Wordsworth is well known for his love of nature and the poem shows
this, he gives the impression of fresh air, freedom and peace by using
words like ‘fields’, ‘sky’ and ‘silent’ and he mentions the beauty of
London, the “ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples”. Instead of
concentrating on the people and their emotions like Blake, Wordsworth
focuses on it as though he was describing a beautiful, natural area of
countryside.

Wordsworth talks about how the “Earth has not anything to show more
fair”, he is describing that London can’t show anything more
attractive than what he sees from Westminster Bridge. He then says how
it is “a sight so touching in its majesty,” London is so royal and
perfect. Wordsworth refers to the city wearing “a garment” as though
it is hiding the gloomy, sinister London underneath. From Westminster
Bridge he can see the...

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