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Westminster Bridge And London Essay

1685 words - 7 pages

The poems ‘lines composed on Westminster Bridge’ and ‘London’ are created by William Wordsworth and William Blake respectively. Wordsworth’s work originated in the eighteenth century and he himself lived in the countryside, and rarely visited large cities such as London. This is reflected on his poem, making it personal to his experience in London, however William Blake on the other hand had a vast knowledge of London and was actually a London poet, which allowed him to express his views of London from a Londoner’s point of view. I therefore will be examining comparisons in both poems, as well as their contrasting views of London and the poetic devices used to express their opinions.
Wordsworth believed in pantheism, the religion of nature, meaning he believed that nature depicted religion as well as the atmosphere of a particular place. He believed that a positive atmosphere and healthy nature depicted a strong religious vibe of that area, proving the good qualities of it. Wordsworth incorporated this belief into his poem, as he states that the area of London was ‘Bright and glittering’, and that the area was full of ‘smokeless air’. These words show the positivity of London through Wordsworth’s eyes, illustrating his belief of London being a nice and religious area.
Conversely, Blake had very different and traditional views on religion. He strongly believed in the power of God, unlike Wordsworth’s belief in Pantheism. He believed that only God had the power to commit acts of power, and that the city of London was actually a negative, horrible place full of corruption due to people with power. He depicts this message by the using personification by stating:
‘Blood runs down palace walls’
Showing that blood of soldiers from the palaces runs down their walls in corruption, due to their wealth and power over the city of London. He also states that ‘ the blackening church appals’ suggesting that the church is corrupted and also performs ‘blackening’ and evil acts due to its power and control in the city. Blake uses the colour black to depict and evil presence in the church, as well as blood of ‘hapless soldiers’ on the palace walls, to express his views more clearly in the poem.
Wordsworth’s ‘Lines composed on Westminster Bridge’ was written on Westminster Bridge, early in the morning showing his astonishment of the view of London on the bridge in the morning. He opens the poem by describing London as the ‘most fair’ and beautiful thing the earth has ever seen, in the quote:
‘Earth has not anything to show more fair’
He then goes on to depict the power of London and its status by using the word ‘majesty’, reflecting the greatness and power of the king/god upon this land. On the other hand, Blake opens his poem in a dark, negative mood as well as focusing on a street of London, contrasting to Wordsworth’s full description of London. He also goes on to use the word ‘chartered’ to describe the street, inflicting the idea of London being...

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