Comparison of London by William Blake and Lines Composed upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth
'Earth has nothing to show more fair', taken from William Wordsworths
'Lines composed upon Westminster Bridge,' could not be more of a
contrast to the way William Blake describes what he sees in his poem
'London'. William Wordsworth and William Blake both wrote their poems
within a very similar time, yet they are completely different in all
aspects. 'Lines composed upon Westminster bridge' by William Blake
describes London as the most beautiful place in the world yet 'London'
by William Blake could not be more different.
Blake wrote 'London' in 1794. Immediately by the title you think
bright lights, showbiz and glamour, as it is the capital of the
country, England's showpiece. However Blake creates a very negative
tone throughout the poem about the things he sees. Each line is full
of negative diction, which helps create this negative tone. He
effectively creates this tone from the start of the first verse.
' I wander thro each chartered street where the chartered street does
Here Blake criticises the government, he looks negatively at the
charter which was a written document given to the people of London to
give them rights and privileges yet Blake sees it as a bad thing. He
uses the repetition of 'chartered' to emphasise it and insult it.
Blake focuses mainly on the social aspect of London criticising the
things he sees and focusing on all the negative points.
'In every cry of every man
In every infant's cry of fear'
'Every' is repeated universalising it, the man also adds to this.
Blake chooses to write about an infant as it makes you think the poor
innocent child and keeps the poem negative.
'How the Chimney sweepers cry' Blake effectively chooses to write
about a chimney sweeper as it is seen as a poorly paid job that young
children were sent to do. They worked long hard hours and had no
education; it could be described as a malnourished job. This adds a
lot of negativity to the poem in an effective way. Blake also chooses
to write about the 'hapless soldiers sigh', which can be seen to
represent young men fighting, and dying pointlessly, wasting their
lives. He starts this line with the word 'And' expressing that there
are more negative things to come, there are many of them. Blake
chooses to write about young people and what he sees, as they are the
next generation, but they all live very poor lives which shows there
is not much hope for the future.
Blake describes the church as the 'blackening church appals'. Normally
a church would be described in a good way yet Blake sees it negatively
describing the church as 'blackening' which is usually associated with
mourning, death and funerals. Blake sees the church in a bad way, a