Compare and contrast the Romantic visions in 'London'' by William Blake and 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' by William Wordsworth.

Essay by yellowdesire December 2005

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Downloaded 56 times

Although the poems 'London' by William Blake and 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' by William Wordsworth are both about the city of London they are very different in many ways. Throughout this essay I will be comparing and contrasting the romantic visions found within each of them, their use of stylistic features and how they reflect the Romantic period.

The poem 'London' is about a man wandering through the streets of London sharing his thoughts and views on how corrupt society is. This poem carries a very pessimistic view of London. He sees people everywhere with expressions of sadness and depression. He feels as if the people have corrupted themselves by the use of the metaphor "mind-forg'd manacles"(line 8), meaning that it is something man-made, something they themselves have created and something only they can blame themselves for. By our outlook on life we have become trapped, by the way we let these negative feelings consume us and how we let ourselves slip into such a deep state of depression, the only freedom is optimism and happiness yet it seems so far from reach.

By the use of the phrase " In every cry of every man"(line 5), only heightens the sense of pessimism as it seems to suggest people crying out for help, crying out in agony for they are so fed up with the lives they are living and long for a drastic change, for euphoriant lives. It is stated in the poem that men used to require the services of prostitutes to release their 'carnal desires' probably because they saw their wives as sweet and innocent and therefore did not want to corrupt them. The "Harlot's curse" (line 13), refers to venereal disease that was passed on to these men by the prostitutes who then infected...