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Comparing Different Images Of London; Blake's 'london', And Wordworth's 'composed Upon Westminster Bridge'

1404 words - 6 pages

In this assignment I will evaluate the similarities and differences between two poems. The first poem is William Blake's 'London', the second is William Wordsworth's 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge'. Both poems convey different opinions of London through the language techniques used by the authors. 'London' was written in 1974 and depicts London in a dystopian way, 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge' was written in 1802, and shows London in a very different light. Wordsworth highlights the positive parts of London and shows it as a Utopia.Both poems present contrasting ideas and opinions of London.William Blake's view of London describes the streets of London as though he himself was ...view middle of the document...

Blake is referring to the way in which men are unfaithful, visiting prostitutes, which ruins marriages. 'Marriage hearse' shows that the death of marriage is imminent, when living amongst the prostitutes of the streets of London. This shows the corruption Blake was referring to.Wordsworth's poem is rich with visual images, for example, London is described in regal terms, 'A sight so touching in it's majesty, this city doth like a garment wear, the beauty of the morning'. This metaphor suggests that the city wears the morning like a cloak worn by a king. This quotation also suggests power and enchantment. The visual images in this poem give an image of cleanliness; 'smokeless air', 'bright and glittering', these words show the city at its finest. The personification in the poem helps to show the humanity of the city, 'the city doth like a garment wear', 'the river glideth at his own sweet will', 'the very houses seem asleep'. This shows the reader that the city is not unlike a person when there is little human activity.The images in the poem are not only visual, but some are auditory. In 'London' especially, the auditory images are especially effective in creating an atmosphere; 'every infants cry of fear',' every voice'. Blake comments on how even the children are not spared from the pains of life, everybody suffers, and this is apparent from the voices that can be heard by him. The only auditory image in 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge' is that of perfect silence. Wordsworth highlights the stillness and the tranquillity by using words such as 'silent', 'calm', 'sweet', and 'splendour', which provide the reader with a peaceful image.These effects make the reader aware of the things which the author is feeling at the time. The images, both auditory and visual, allow the reader to experience what the author would be seeing and feeling at the time each poem was written. The repetition of the word 'every' throughout Blake's poem shows the total and absolute depression. It allows the reader to comprehend the full discomfort and poverty of the people of London. The lists in Wordsworth's poem helps to establish a wider view of the landscape 'silent, bare, ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples' the list of words give an impression of variety.The tense of each poem helps to create atmosphere. Both poems are written in present tense, and both are written in first person, which suggests different things for each poem. In William Blake's poem, the first person and present tense show that Blake is actually experiencing the situations he describes. This makes the problems seem more urgent and the reader feels more pity for the people of London. The word 'wander' suggests casual curiosity for the city.Alternatively, in Wordsworth's poem, the present tense of the poem shows that at the moment there is nothing more beautiful, and time appears to stand still as the author...

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