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Comparing "London" (William Blake) And "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3rd, 1802" (William Wordsworth)

1864 words - 7 pages

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) and William Blake (1757-1827) were both romantic poets. Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement that originated in the late 18th Century. Blake and Wordsworth tended to write about the same things such as nature, people and structures, such as cities like London. Emotions also played a big part in romantic poems. Often poets would be inspired by a simple view and would write a masterpiece about it. For example, Wordsworth lived in the Lake District for most of his life and this inspired many of his poems.Romanticism is thought to have started in Germany and England in 1770s and by the early 1800s it had spread through most of Europe. Romanticism spread westward quickly and was greatly influenced by music and for many years it was used in concert halls. Today it is known as neoromanticism and is used in many things without the public even knowing. Even the soundtrack from Star Wars was based on the style of romanticism.Both poems are about London, but based around two very different opinions. Blake's poem describes London as hell on Earth, while Wordsworth's praises London as heaven on Earth. To more contrasting poems have never been written.In "London" the poem is written in the first person account (this could be Blake). The person notices the terrible living conditions and suffering life of Londoners who live by the Thames. The use of detracting language (weakness, hapless) drives his feelings of sympathy for the people. "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802" however is full of praise for London, but does not describe the people of London as it is written in the morning before the city has awoken for a new day. It describes the landscape and architecture of London as "majestic, bright and glimmering". Wordsworth says that London is the most beautiful place on Earth and anyone who would walk past without a glance would be "dead of soul". Blake, on the other hand, probably thinks that the people who live IN London are dead of soul. His London is a bleak city, torn apart by corruption in the royal family and the church. In lines 9 and 10 Blake links chimney-sweeps and the church through both contrast due to their wealth and also through a small likeness because both or unhappy. The chimney-sweep is extremely poor and has a terrible quality of life whereas the church has the opposite of this but has forsaken religion and Christ. No one can by happy when a city is like this.In Wordsworth's poem, the chimney-sweeps have been hard at work because "Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie...All bright and glittering in the smokeless sky"The skyline of the city captured Wordsworth heart and he fell in love with it. However he couldn't see past the buildings and look inside them. Blake did and that is why the two poems differ so greatly. Wordsworth saw the outer casing, but Blake delved deeper into the heart of the city and found out what it was really like under the outer...

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