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Contrasting Views Of The City Of London Presented In William Wordsworth's Poem, Composed Upon Westminster Bridge And William Blake's Poem, London

993 words - 4 pages

The two texts are both different forms of poetry, composed in the latter half of the nineteenth century with the city of London at the heart of each piece. However in terms of style and perspective, they differ greatly from each other. The first piece, a sonnet composed by William Wordsworth, one of the most famous writers of the eighteenth century, conveys a sense of celebration for all the triumphs and beauty of London whereas the second piece by William Blake uses his writing to provoke the reader by telling of London’s corruption and plight, the two pieces could not differ more.
The first piece, entitled Composed upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth, takes the form of a sonnet, which poets have used throughout the ages to display their dexterity and skill, which Wordsworth uses as a vehicle to convey to the reader his sense of love and celebration for the city of London. As Wordsworth was a Lakeland poet, traces of his original subject matter can be found in the piece such as in the line ‘Open unto the fields, and to the sky’ which is followed by on the proceeding alternate line,
‘Never did sun more beautifully steep In his first splendour, valley, rock or hill’,
this gives an example of enjambment to add emphasis to
‘In his first splendour’,

the line also gives an example of Wordsworth deploying powerful natural imagery to give reference to London’s beauty which can be compared to many natural wonders. In the ensuing line ‘never did the sun more beautifully steep In his first splendour, ‘Wordsworth personifies the sun and gives reference to creationism by the words ‘first splendour’ which in Wordsworth’s time of writing, in which biblical knowledge was commonplace, would have invoked the audiences’ mind in giving reference to the awe-inspiring story of creation and in doing so, would have suggested that London is something which God has created.
In Wordsworth’s piece no reference is given to the people of London, which, Wordsworth uses to give his piece broad panoramic vista. Wordsworth describes London’s architecture in the line ‘Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie’, ships giving reference to England being a particularly powerful naval force at the time of writing as well as ships being used for trade and Wordsworth views London as the gateway to the rest of the world, as a trade capital with plenty of commercial prosperity. ‘Towers’ gives reference to London’s architectural achievements with ‘domes and temples’ also giving reference to the structures achieved in ancient Rome which was considered to be one of the most powerful and prosperous civilizations at its time, Wordsworth feels London is comparable to it, whilst ‘theatres’ tells of London having an important and diverse arts culture.
An example of Wordsworth employing archaic language can be found in the line ‘This city now doth, like a garment wear’, this gives an example of the poetic diction which would have...

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