Westminster Bridge and London Comparison

9 September 2016

Essay to compare the Poem ‘London’ and ‘On Westminster bridge’ Both Wordsworth and Blake depict an image of London, but they present it through different perspectives. Their attitudes to London are completely different. While Wordsworth is the lover of nature, Blake is a social and political reformer. Thus, they have different purposes. The two poems “London” and ‘ Composed Upon Westminster Bridge’ are intended to convey different to the reader.

Blake has a more negative approach, this could be explained by the fact that he was brought in poverty in London and therefore would most likely not see so positively as Wordsworth who seemed very enchanted. The main difference between ‘Composed upon Westminster Bridge’ by William Wordsworth and ‘London’ by William Blake is their opinions towards London. Wordsworth shows his true passion of the nature that London has and its ‘the beauty of the morning: silent, bare’. On the other hand Blake describes the people as what makes up the city and doesn’t focus so much on scenery or buildings.

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He writes as someone with a greater knowledge of the hardships of city life at the time. The end “Marriage-Hearse” is marking how life is so bleak there that it’s as if going straight from your wedding to your grave. Secondly, ‘Upon Westminster Bridge’ personifies London as a lady who wears ‘’a garment’, creating an image of a beautiful lady with a glamorous dress. It also uses personification when talking about the river flowing at ‘it own sweet will’ suggesting that it is free and flows willingly and how the ‘heart is lying still’ indicating it is alive.

The houses mentioned in the poem are said to have been ‘asleep’. On the other hand ‘London’ by Blake was meant to be a lot more literal and is not really personified at all. Another difference is the layout and structure of each of the poems. ‘Upon Westminster Bridge’ is written in a sonnet form-a poem of 14 lines usually used to write love poems-which shows his love for the city of London. This makes the poem flow better and easily rolls off the tongue.

However ‘London’ is written in stanzas each of four lines with an AbAb rhyming pattern. This makes the poem a bit more jumpy and gives it a strong beat. That beat could be used as a method of portraying the lack of freedom he believed people had at the time. Finally, one thing that the poems have in common is that they are both subjective. This means that the poems are influenced on their personal opinions. Both poems are in the first person and use ‘I’. Wordsworth had always been interested in nature and that is reflected in his poems.

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