William Wordsworth Composed Upon Westminster Bridge Analysis

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Glory and Terribleness: A comparison based on London between William Blake’s London and William Wordsworth’s Composed upon Westminster bridge Eason Tao (Ginling College, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210046, China) Abstract: In the end of the 18th century, London became the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, which the shining glory of enormous economy soar shades countless suffering and unbearable pains. The two poems, London by William Blake and Composed upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth, shows different perspectives of London. Based on detailed analysis of two poems along with vast supplementary information, the essay makes a comprehensive comparison of them. Key words: William Wordsworth; William Blake; comparison;…show more content…
London is full of suffering, poverty, disease, prostitution, metal slavery, warfare——all kinds of terribleness are throughout the poem in the form of cries and they burst out at last, only to lead a silent death, which the government cares nothing about it: Money is the best policy. Look at the first stanza: From the first two verses we can see that there exists a repetition of “charter’d” (chartered), it means “to hire or rent (a ship etc.) for exclusive use”, namely the Thames and its each surrounding street has been a monopolistic “product”. Repetition is a poetic standard, but it is not appropriate to use it like this——it is more likely to be a sense of incantation. I think it aims to make a biting satire of the authority by making a stress to prove its “rationality”. The Thames can be considered as a representative mighty force of nature, so every corner of nature has been totally ruled by the capitalistic government. They take it for granted, unscrupulously consuming every source of nature to transform it into every profit for them to become blindly stronger. All the London was enslaved and deprived of freedom, and the billowing smoke is not only breathing the economy of the industry, but also the misfortune of the innocent…show more content…
All the London was caught in a totally deep and death silence, but it was too short. The youthful harlot’s curse, the new-born infant’s tear, the plagues……All the dark corners of London gathered together into a great burst. The London went nuts in the end. The demoralization was highly exposed to everyone. The curse is the blasting fuse. It not only refers to the sexual disease, but also makes the infant cry, thus causing the exposure of the demoralization. They, along with the plagues, tempestuously burst out further, and then, blight suddenly into a re-silence. With “marriage” and “hearse”, it echoes back to the “church” and “appalls”, suggesting marriage is an oppressor of omission. (Different London, 53-54)In a literal sense, it has been suggested by one scholar that the marriage laws promoted prostitution, and the population of female prostitutes at the time of the poem’s publication numbered around 50,000(Lincoln, 1991, p.193). As Camille Paglia has remarked, “In Blake’s radical philosophy, prostitution is created by religious prudery and social hypocrisy.” (Paglia, 2005, p.62) The poem ends, but the cycle of the misery is still going around and around, just like the dying babies of the marriage hearse. A new-born baby is faced with curse and cries passed from generation to generation. Once it was born, it was an end of ineluctability. Pitiful London lives in the terrible cycle and has to face it with a new day’s

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