essay about london 1802

London, 1802 Summary & Analysis by William Wordsworth

  • Line-by-Line Explanation & Analysis
  • Poetic Devices
  • Vocabulary & References
  • Form, Meter, & Rhyme Scheme
  • Line-by-Line Explanations

essay about london 1802

"London, 1802" is a sonnet by William Wordsworth, one of the most influential English Romantic Poets. The poem praises the famous 17th-century poet John Milton and suggests that England would be better off if it modeled itself after Milton and the values of his era. Wordsworth composed the poem in 1802, shortly after returning to London from France, where he witnessed the aftermath of the French Revolution. Comparing France's somber social landscape to England's boisterous, care-free atmosphere, Wordsworth composed "London, 1802" as both a critique of his country and a celebration of its former glory.

  • Read the full text of “London, 1802”

essay about london 1802

The Full Text of “London, 1802”

1 Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour:

2 England hath need of thee: she is a fen

3 Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,

4 Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,

5 Have forfeited their ancient English dower

6 Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;

7 Oh! raise us up, return to us again;

8 And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.

9 Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart:

10 Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea:

11 Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,

12 So didst thou travel on life's common way,

13 In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart

14 The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

“London, 1802” Summary

“london, 1802” themes.

Theme The Past and Societal Decline

The Past and Societal Decline

  • See where this theme is active in the poem.

Line-by-Line Explanation & Analysis of “London, 1802”

Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour: England hath need of thee: she is a fen Of stagnant waters:

essay about london 1802

altar, sword, and pen, Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower, Have forfeited their ancient English dower Of inward happiness.

We are selfish men; Oh! raise us up, return to us again;

And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.

Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart: Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea: Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,

Lines 12-13

So didst thou travel on life's common way, In cheerful godliness;

Lines 13-14

and yet thy heart The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

“London, 1802” Symbols

Symbol John Milton

John Milton

  • See where this symbol appears in the poem.

Symbol The Natural World

The Natural World

“london, 1802” poetic devices & figurative language.

  • See where this poetic device appears in the poem.

End-Stopped Line

Personification, “london, 1802” vocabulary.

Select any word below to get its definition in the context of the poem. The words are listed in the order in which they appear in the poem.

  • See where this vocabulary word appears in the poem.

Form, Meter, & Rhyme Scheme of “London, 1802”

Rhyme scheme, “london, 1802” speaker, “london, 1802” setting, literary and historical context of “london, 1802”, more “london, 1802” resources, external resources.

A Reading of the Poem — Listen to a clear, slow, and concentrated reading of "London, 1802."

Preface to Lyrical Ballads — Read Wordsworth's "Preface to Lyrical Ballads," an essay that greatly influenced the trajectory of Romantic poetry.

The Industrial Revolution — Watch an informative BBC documentary about the Industrial Revolution and its impact on England.

More Information about John Milton — Learn about John Milton's life, his writing, and how he influenced the course of British literature.

Wordsworth's Life and Work — Read an overview of William Wordsworth and his life as a Romantic poet.

LitCharts on Other Poems by William Wordsworth

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Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

Expostulation and Reply

Extract from The Prelude (Boat Stealing)

It Is a Beauteous Evening, Calm and Free

I Travelled Among Unknown Men

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey

Lines Written in Early Spring

My Heart Leaps Up

Nuns Fret Not at Their Convent’s Narrow Room

Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways

She was a Phantom of Delight

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The Tables Turned

The World Is Too Much With Us

Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower

To a Snowdrop

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Interesting Literature

A Short Analysis of William Wordsworth’s ‘London, 1802’

A summary of a classic Wordsworth sonnet

‘Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour’. With this opening line, William Wordsworth (1770-1850) begins one of his most famous sonnets. Although he’s best-known in the popular consciousness as the poet who praised daffodils and wandered lonely as a cloud, ‘London, 1802’ shows a Wordsworth who is very critical of England and its people, and looking back nostalgically to a happier time in English (literary) history. Here is ‘London, 1802’ with some notes towards an analysis of the poem.

Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour: England hath need of thee: she is a fen Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen, Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower, Have forfeited their ancient English dower Of inward happiness. We are selfish men; O raise us up, return to us again, And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power! Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart; Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea: Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free, So didst thou travel on life’s common way, In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

William Wordsworth

Wordsworth then praises Milton’s gifts: his soul was like a star which ‘dwelt apart’, suggesting Milton was one in a million among men, but also a lone voice crying in the wilderness, the only man who could cut through the nonsense and show England where it was going wrong. Milton’s voice is associated with the sound of the sea, pure as heaven. Although Milton was ‘majestic’ (i.e. like a king) he also travelled ‘on life’s common way’ and was happy to perform the ‘lowliest’ (i.e. humblest or simplest) duties. It’s not clear how deliberate this is, but the two images in the first part of the sonnet (the octave), the ‘stagnant waters’ and the corrupted fireside, find themselves made glorious again in the water and fire symbols that appear in the second part of the sonnet (the sestet): namely, the mighty vastness of the sea and the white heat of the star used to describe Milton. Of course, it’s possible to over-analyse these things, but it’s a nice fortuitous touch, if nothing else.

Why Milton? It’s significant that he reaches for the author of not only Paradise Lost (1667) but also Areopagitica (1645), the first defence of the freedom of the press written in English, and still one of the most important. Milton also lived during the English Civil War and supported Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians who fought against the King, Charles I. Milton’s most famous work, Paradise Lost , is – at least in one interpretation – about mankind being liberated from the unreasonable strictures placed on them by God. (William Blake certainly thought so.) So, Milton stands for liberty and freedom of various kinds.

Wordsworth wrote his poem addressed to Milton in 1802, as his title tells us. In 1802, Wordsworth was a literary celebrity, thanks to the publication of Lyrical Ballads , which he co-authored with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in 1798. Wordsworth had been a staunch supporter of the French Revolution in 1789, later declaring, ‘Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive!’ But by 1802, the Revolutionary regime had given way to Napoleon’s imperial tyranny, and the Napoleonic Wars. How can England defend itself against a foreign power while there is such corruption and selfishness among its people? Milton thus stands as a beacon of enlightenment and integrity, a man who has the best interests of England at heart and has the skill and influence to make a real political difference. (As well as being one of the finest English poets of the seventeenth century, Milton was also an influential pamphleteer, as Areopagitica , among others, attests.)

In short, then, Wordsworth exclaims ‘Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour’ because John Milton got the country through the difficult period of the English Civil War and showed that freedom, liberty, and opposition to tyranny are noble values worth defending. In the last analysis, ‘London, 1802’ is a fine sonnet because, although it threatens to lapse into a moaning rant by a former radical poet about the state of his country, it is saved from this by its genuine concern for the country and a wish to make it better with words rather than swords.

Image: Portrait of William Wordsworth by Benjamin Haydon, 1842; via Wikimedia Commons .

4 thoughts on “A Short Analysis of William Wordsworth’s ‘London, 1802’”

I feel I must congratulate you on your choices for inclusion. This blog certainly befits the name. Thank you for giving us such insights.

Thank you! :)

Wordsworth was naive in this instance; Milton was a regicide and a willing participant in Cromwell’s religious persecutions, overthrow of Parliament, and genocide in Ireland.

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London, 1802

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Literary Context: Milton and Romanticism

There are two important literary contexts relevant to “London, 1802”: the figure of John Milton and what he represents in the English literary tradition, and the cultural and political ideals of Romanticism as a movement.

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London, 1802 By William Wordsworth Summary

Table of Contents

William Wordsworth: London, 1802

William Wordsworth wrote the poem London, 1802 as a call to the late poet John Milton. It is a sonnet which is written to serve two objectives: be a tribute to the genius Milton and express the sad realities of London in Wordsworth’s opinion. The poem starts with a cry for help given the situation of London in Wordsworth’s time, which can be remedied with the presence of someone like Milton’s brilliance. Wordsworth goes on to comment on how England had become ‘stagnant’ and ‘selfish’ and no more has the happiness of the earlier times. He is pleading to Milton asking for a resurrection of the good old England with the return of ‘manners, virtue, freedom and power’. He calls Milton a ‘star’, a ‘sea’ and compliments his many qualities.

Summary of London , 1802 By William Wordsworth

Lines 1-6 In these lines, Wordsworth expresses the wish that Milton should have have been ‘living at this hour’. He believes ‘England hath need of thee’. This is so because, in Wordsworth’s opinion, England has become a ‘fen of stagnant waters’. It was once the home of natural skills like the religion (‘altar’), chivalry(‘sword’), and art (‘pen’), It has forgone the old ‘dower’ of ‘inward happiness’ and given in to the terrible allure of modernity.

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Lines 6-14 Wordsworth begins a new line with the admission of the reality that English people are ‘selfish’. His desperation to be saved is reflected through the expression ‘Oh! Raise us up, return to us again’. He continues to the pleading for help by saying that there is a need for ‘manner, virtue, freedom and power’ to be taught to the selfish men again.

In the next lines, he actually praises Milton by likening him to a star (‘his soul was like a Star’). The words ‘dwelt apart’ is to perhaps imply that he was different from the rest: his contemporaries and the humans even now. He further goes on to describe his voice as being similar to the ‘sea’ which is to say that he was ‘pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free’. The use of ‘star’ and ‘sea’ as similes of nature might be seen as saying that his qualities were ever so natural. He ends his praise by saying that his constitution and soul was so full of ‘cheerful godliness’ that even when he did the ‘lowlie duties’ he did not lose his shining qualities.

Analysis of London, 1802

In the beginning of London, 1802, William Wordsworth cries out to the poet, John Milton, telling him that he has to be alive because England desires him now. He goes on to describe England as a swampy marshland of ‘stagnant waters’ in which the whole lot that was as soon as a natural present (which includes faith, chivalry, and art,symbolized respectively through the altar, the sword, and the pen) has been lost to the curse of modernity.

The speaker continues by means of telling Milton that the English are egocentric and asking him to elevate them up. He asks Milton to bring the English (‘us’) ‘manners, virtue, freedom, energy’.The speaker then tells Milton that his ‘soul was like a celebrity’, due to the fact he became unique even from his contemporaries in terms of the virtues listed above. The speaker tells Milton that his voice becomes like the sea and the sky, a part of nature and therefore natural ‘majestic, unfastened’. The speaker additionally compliments Milton’s capability to encompass ‘joyful godliness’ even at the same time as doing the ‘lowliest obligations.

London, 1802 is a sonnet with a rhyme scheme of abbaabbacddece. The poem is written in the second individual and addresses the late poet John Milton, who lived from 1608-1674 and is famous for having written Paradise lost. The poem has two major purposes, one among that’s to pay homage to Milton with the aid of announcing that he can store the entirety of England together with his nobility and virtue.

The another motive of the poem is to attract interest to what Wordsworth feels are the troubles with English society. In keeping with Wordsworth, England was once an extraordinary region of happiness, faith, chivalry, artwork, and literature, but at the prevailing moment, those virtues had been lost. Wordsworth can most effective describe present-day England as a swampland, in which people are selfish and have to study approximately such things as ‘manners, distinctive feature, freedom, power’. Be aware that Wordsworth compliments Milton through evaluating him to things found in nature, consisting of the celebs, the ocean, and ‘the heavens’. For Wordsworth, being likened to nature is the highest praise viable.

The shape of the poem is for that reason mainly appropriate to its difficulty. The work opens with exclaiming Milton’s call, which is metrically emphasized through the accented first syllable (a contravention of strict iambic meter). Milton is treated as a form of muse, capable of inspiring each the poet Wordsworth and the English country by means of expressing his wish that Milton needs to ‘be living at this hour’, Wordsworth enable convey that want that pass: he uses this very poem to assist revive Milton’s reminiscence and have an impact on. The verb ‘residing’ is particularly apt, for the reason that poem is significantly concerned with restoring life to a number of England’s maximum essential traditions and values, while the phrase ‘at this hour’ stresses Wordsworth’s sense of urgency.

He believed that England in 1802 turned into at a moment of disaster, each regionally and because of its ultra-modern conflicts with France. Although he knew, of the route, that Milton couldn’t actually be revived, in this sonnet he seeks not only to reawaken and renew hobby in his first-rate predecessor but also to adopt Milton’s role as a public poet addressing the nation on problems of pressing ethical situation. Simply as Milton’s name became metrically emphasized in line 1, so ‘England’ is emphasized inside the same manner (and within the equal preliminary, first-phrase position) in line 2. The first-rate poet and his kingdom are already being linked in subtle ways as Wordsworth attempts to underscore their critical connection. England is defined metaphorically in line 2 as a lady in want of a male rescuer, but within the subsequent breath, she is likewise known as ‘a fen [swamp]/Of stagnant waters’ (2-3).

Each new noun adds an effect, like a spreading stain, to the catalogue of deterioration; rarely unmarried thing of Britain seems left untouched by way of the atrophy Wordsworth indicts. All these segments of English society have ‘forfeited heir historical English dower/Of inward happiness’ (lines five-6), that is, they have got now not merely lost something, however, have actively given it up thru mistakes, offence, or crime, with the verb ‘forfeited’ additionally wearing a secondary notion of lack of wealth. The word ‘dower’ is especially widespread, in view that it can refer now not simplest to a widow’s inheritance from her husband, but also to the cash a brand new wife brings (from her own family) into a wedding. The first that means reinforces the existence/demise assessment already implied by using the primary line. It also implies gift-day England’s irresponsibility, its self-indulgence, its lack of admire for its personal past. Metaphorically, England has betrayed her lifeless partner; her noble traditions. The word ‘dower’ also, because of its economic connotations, appears lower back to the preceding connection with ‘heroic wealth’.

Satirically, despite the fact that Wordsworth believed that rampant materialism become partially to blame for England’s decline, he goes out of his way on this sonnet to give superb connotations to phrases related to money. However, the ‘wealth’ and ‘dower’ he has in mind are associated with heroism and communal traditions, no longer with mere economic self-hobby.

Wordsworth transvalues the regular meanings of those nouns, associating them no longer with outward financial success, but with ‘inward happiness’. England’s decline has now not been fabric (a long way from it: Britain changed into fast turning into the wealthiest kingdom in the world); rather, its decline (in Wordsworth’s view) became religious. Its afflictions were the first and main afflictions of the soul, and that is why both Milton and his successor Wordsworth are possible assets of help. However, while the poem seems maximum accusatory, and while Wordsworth appears to sit down most glaringly in the extremely advanced judgment of his countrymen, he all of the sudden consists of himself in the indictment. In a brief, matter-of-reality word that invitations no objections or qualifications, he makes easy, all-inclusive declare: ‘we’re selfish guys’. Mockingly, by using implicitly faulting himself in addition to his fellows, he makes his charges extra rhetorically persuasive. He indicates the very humility he later praises in Milton (and, by doing so, he of route partially exempts himself from the fee of selfishness).

In line 7, Milton is addressed most absolutely as a form of muse or divine being perhaps whilst a kind of Christ discern whose second coming is devoutly desired via continually the use of such phrases as ‘we’ and ‘us’, Wordsworth continues to become aware of himself with the human beings he had just been criticizing; he implicitly turns into what he implies Milton become additionally: the spokesman for, and the sense of right and wrong of, the English nation. Milton himself is actually incapable of ‘return[ing]’ to life, but can be (and is being, thru this poem) reincarnated in the prophetic character Wordsworth is right here fashioning for himself. While the first list had emphasized all of the aspects of English society presently in decline, the second listing info some of the needed characteristics that Milton can provide to help restore or opposite that slide. Those encompass ‘manners, virtue, freedom, [and] strength (8).

Honestly, Wordsworth seeks not simply political trade, however, a wholesale moral revolution. In other phrases, he wishes not a lot to regulate external kinds of government as to transform, at a few pretty essential degrees, the ways people think, feel and behave.

The word ‘manners’ shows the methods human beings deal with each other; the word ‘virtue’ indicates their deepest ethical instincts. In the meantime, the phrase ‘freedom’ may imply political liberty, but it likely additionally shows freedom of soul or spirit (as in freedom from obsessive materialism). Sooner or later, ‘power’ almost clearly does no longer discuss with political or military may, however, over again, to religious and ethical energy. The sonnet’s 8th line is essential not because it lists solutions to the troubles already listed in strains 3 and 4, but additionally due to the fact, in a traditional Petrarchan sonnet, the 8th line is the end of the octave (the first essential division of the poem). So far, Wordsworth has observed Petrarchan structure precisely rather than adopting the looser and easier bureaucracy desired via other English sonneteers: mainly, he has given us, inside the first-eight lines, the same old Petrarchan rhyme scheme of abba abba. We ought to expect, then, that in line 9, Wordsworth will not best start a brand new pattern of rhyme, but may even offer a giant shift of cognizance. In the Petrarchan sestet or last 6 lines of the poem, Wordsworth’s attention-which had heretofore been targeted on England now shifts to Milton himself. The poem’s earlier implied emphasis on spirituality right here turns into express with the connection with Milton’s ‘soul’, that is compared to a ‘superstar’ (i.e., a small speck of mild inside the midst of surrounding darkness; a capability supply of steerage; a lofty object of wondrous attention). Milton’s soul ‘dwelt apart’ (9) within the feel that Milton changed into centred on better goals and aspirations than the maximum of his own contemporaries, but it became exactly his religious distance from them that made him a treasured trainer.

Effectively using alliteration to emphasize liquid ‘s’ sounds, Wordsworth now pronounces that Milton possessed ‘a voice whose sound changed into like the ocean’.

The final noun now not only contrasts powerfully with the earlier description of England as a ‘fen /Of stagnant waters’ (2- 3), however, also incorporates its other relevant connotations, associating Milton with a large, deep, inexhaustible and effective force of nature. The expanse of the sea is then linked, inside the subsequent line, to the expanse of the sky: ‘the naked heavens’. Milton is ironically called both ‘majestic’ (a word related to royalty) and ‘loose’ (a word related to democracy), and the line in which these kinds of descriptions occur makes use of, over again, the method of the list that Wordsworth has hired so effectively some other place in this poem.

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London, 1802

By William Wordsworth

Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour: England hath need of thee: she is a fen Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen, Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower, Have forfeited their ancient English dower Of inward happiness. We are selfish men; Oh! raise us up, return to us again; And give us manners, virtue , freedom, power . Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart: Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea: Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free, So didst thou travel on life’s common way, In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

Summary of London, 1802

  • Popularity of “ London , 1802”: The poem ‘London, 1802’ was written by William Wordsworth, a great English poet, and an  author. This melancholy poem appeared in his collection Two Volumes  in 1807. The poem talks about the iconic poet and writer John Milton . It also explains how the people of London have lost their originality following the changing patterns of the world. The poet’s depiction of two different London cities makes this poetic piece a powerful one.
  • “London, 1802” As a Representative of Sorrow: This poet recollects the memory of John Milton, one of the established poets of history. At the start of the event, the speaker passionately implores Milton to return, emphasizing the pressing need for an intellectual of his caliber in England during this critical period. The city has lost its ancient charm; the people have become selfish and mean. They have lost all their manners and virtues. According to him, he firmly believes that Milton should return and impart manners, virtues, power, and freedom to these individuals. He views Milton as a great poet who seems in tune with God and nature. He thinks that Milton possesses all the qualities a nation’s leader should have, and only he can restore the lost spirit of London. Therefore, he wants this Great Spirit to revert and change the ugly face of his city.
  • Major Themes in “London, 1802”: Admiration, imagination versus reality, and patriotism are the major themes of the poem. The speaker’s patriotism reflects throughout the poem. He is unsatisfied with the present state of his place, thinking that the church, the military, and legal establishments have lost their direction and actual meanings. To him, only Milton can change the fortune of the city. Therefore, he urges him to come back and redirect his people to the righteous path.

Analysis of Literary Devices Used in London, 1802

literary devices permit writers to choose their words to create their unique styles . William Wordsworth used some literary devices in the poem whose analysis is as follows.

  • Allusion : It means to allude to some event, persona or incident of historical importance such as Wordsworth has alluded to Milton as well as England.
  • Apostrophe : This literary device means to call somebody or idea such as the poet has called Milton saying “Milton! Thou shouldst be living at this hour.”
  • Assonance : Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line, such as the sound of /ee/ in “In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart” and the sound of /i/ in “Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour”.
  • Consonance : Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line, such as the sound of /t/ and the sound lf /l/ in “The lowliest duties on herself did lay” and the sound of /z/ and /d/ in “Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea”.
  • Enjambment : It is defined as a thought in verse that does not come to an end at a line break ; rather, it rolls over to the next line. For example,
“ In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart The lowliest duties on herself did lay.”
  • Hyperbole : Hyperbole is a device used to exaggerate any statement for the sake of emphasis. Wordsworth exaggerates about the condition of England, such as, “England hath need of thee: she is a fen”.
  • Imagery : Imagery is used to make readers perceive things involving their five senses. William Wordsworth used imagery in this poem such as “Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart”, “Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour” and “Have forfeited their ancient English dower”.
  • Personification : Personification is to give human qualities to inanimate objects . The poet has personified the England throughout the poem such as,
“England hath need of thee: she is a fen Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen.”
  • Simile : It is a device used to compare something with something else to make the meanings clear to the readers. Wordsworth has used this device at many places in the poem, such as “Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart” and “Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea.” The use of the word “like” shows that these two are similes used for comparison .
  • Symbolism : Symbolism is using symbols to signify ideas and qualities, giving them symbolic meanings that are different from literal meanings. The expression “forfeited their ancient English dower” symbolizes changing attitude of the people of England.

Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in London, 1802

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  • End Rhyme : End Rhyme is used to make the stanza melodious. William Wordsworth has used end rhyme in this poem such as; “fen/pen”, “way/lay” and “sea/free.”
  • Octave : An octave is an eight lined stanza derived from Italian poetry. The poem contains only one octave.
  • Rhyme Scheme : The poem follows ABBAABBA and CDDECE rhyme scheme .
  • Stanza : A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. It is a fourteen lined poem with no stanza break in it but two parts; a sestet and an octave.

Quotes to be Used

These lines from “London, 1802” are useful to quote when talking about great persons who have done great deeds in the past,

“Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart: Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea: Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free, So didst thou travel on life’s common way, In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart The lowliest duties on herself did lay.”

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Literary Criticism London 1802 Wordsworth

Profile image of Rula Jwabre

"London, 1802" is a sonnet inspired by, and in praise of, John Milton, one of the greatest poets of the English language and one of its most accomplished writers of sonnets. The form of the poem is thus particularly appropriate to its subject. The work opens by exclaiming Milton's name, which is metrically emphasized through the accented first syllable (a violation of strict iambic meter). Milton is treated as a kind of muse, capable of inspiring both the poet Wordsworth and the English nation. By expressing his wish that Milton should "be living at this hour" (1), Wordsworth helps bring that wish that pass: he uses this very poem to help revive Milton's memory and influence. The verb "living" is especially apt, since the poem is greatly concerned with restoring life to some of England's most important traditions and values, while the phrase "at this hour" stresses Wordsworth's sense of urgency. He believed that England in 1802 was at a moment of crisis, both domestically and...

Related Papers

Steve Fallon

By characterizing the relation of Wordsworth to Milton as one of "equanimity of influence," this essay suggests that in The Prelude Wordsworth is in a dialogue with Milton's Paradise Lost that is both profound and notably free of anxiety. Wordsworth has here, that is to say, left behind much of the anxiety that marks the Prospectus to the 1814 edition The Recluse, a poem dating from the turn of the nineteenth century. There Wordsworth both boasts that The Recluse, by plumbing the depths of the "Mind of Man," will have more profound effects of awe and fear than Milton's poem, which navigates "Chaos" and "The darkest pit of lowest Erebus," and worries that in describing the "lowly matter" of "the Mind and Man / Contemplating" he might be seen as engaging in "labour useless." The dialogue with Milton here is uneasy and defensive. Milton's influence on Wordsworth's poetic project in The Prelude, on the...

essay about london 1802

Journal of the Department of English, Vidyasagar University

Shouvik N Hore

Alluding to the sources of Wordsworth's sonnet in the 'Book of Job' and Dorothy Wordsworth's 'Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals', I establish how the so-called 'Wordsworthian sublime' can be deduced. In the former, the sublime comes into play in private retrospections at an individual level, incurred after the ramifications of a tragedy sets in. In the latter, Wordsworth is interpreted as subserving Dorothy's observations on London. Her identifications with the city as 'beautiful' is carefully abstracted and idealized under the banner of his sublime, creating the possibility of interaction, subjugation and hierarchical creation.

William Wordsworth in Context

English Literary Renaissance

James Mengert

Daniel Hocutt

A study of several of Milton's early poems informed by a close reading of Parker's biography, focusing on unresolved tension and its effects on poetic style and content. Written to fulfill the requirements of English 405: Milton.

IOSR Journals publish within 3 days

Abstract: In this paper, I will use the late-written Sonnet XIX and the early Sonnet VII so as to analyze what comes over John Milton's poetic creativity. Sonnet VII concerns with time and how it passes hurriedly; Sonnet XIX with Milton’s blindness. From the theme of each sonnet, we can realize the seriousness and depth of poetic matter though at the end of each sonnet; Milton becomes more aware of his situation, his God and even the solution. Indeed, Milton’s early poems, particularly those written before 1632 are not impressive, though there are many good lines. Hence, he realizes that he has accomplished little of what he has hoped to do when he writes Sonnet VII. In my analysis, I will compare between these two sonnets: VII & XIX, and discuss how they reflect the main aspects and poetic differences between Milton’s early and late poetry. Keywords: Milton, sonnet VII, sonnet XIX

Milton Quarterly

Verne Underwood

Jonathon Penny, PhD

In “On the Interrelations of Eighteenth-Century Literary Forms,” Ralph Cohen argues that “major and minor forms were interrelated in terms of their parts or features: all or some could embrace, in addition to a common subject matter and characters . . . portions of a shared diction, a shared rhetoric, a shared procedure for allusions, and a shared style” (48). Yet the distinction between form and mode is only partially clear here, as is how, as Cohen later suggests, the “form-mode distinction can be understood as an interpretative procedure” (49). This essay seeks to clarify the form-mode distinction, and then applies it to illustrate the importance of that distinction in thinking about generic change not only in eighteenth century literary forms, but before and after the eighteenth century as well by examining the interplay between georgic and pastoral forms and modes in Milton’s “Lycidas” and Wordworth’s “Michael.”

11th year English Notes Sindh Board Verse

Zeeshan Ansari

This note contains 11 Verses with an Introduction to the Poet, Background of the Poem, Summary of the Poem, Questions and Answers, Reference to Context, and Explanation line by line. 1. Under the Greenwood Tree 2. The Character of a Happy Life 3. The Abbot of Canterbury 4. Lines from the Deserted Village 5. Lucy Gray 6. Sonnet Composed Upon Westminster Bridge 7. The lay of the last minstrel 8. Abou Ben Adhem 9. Incident at the French camp 10. The Toys 11. I had reached Your Doorstep

Elton Uliana

This paper analyses Milton's assertion of poetic vocation, fame and professional genius in his early pastoral poems and sonnets.

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Wordsworth's Poetical Works

By william wordsworth, wordsworth's poetical works essay questions.

In his poem "London, 1802" Wordsworth writes that humanity had lost its virtues and morality. He asks the deceased poet John Milton to come back and teach the world how to live. What do you think Wordsworth would write if he saw the way people live today?

Discuss the power of memory in Wordsworth's poetry. How does Wordsworth use memory to make him happy? Use specific details from Wordsworth's poems to support your arguments.

In what ways is nature like a religion for Wordsworth? Use examples from Wordsworth's poems to support your argument. You may also choose to include details from Wordsworth's biography.

How did Wordsworth's life affect his writing? You may want to discuss his parents' deaths, his relationship with his sister, his daughter in France, his life in the Lake District, or his relationship with Samuel Coleridge. Make specific connections between Wordsworth's works and biography.

How does the speaker in "Ode; Intimations of Immortality" change between the first stanza and the last stanza? Chart how the change occurs using specific details from the poem. Why do you think this change takes place?

In "I wandered lonely as a cloud" Wordsworth gains a beautiful memory to take with him and make him happy when he is away from nature. Do you have a memory of a time, place or event that makes you happy when other things in your life aren't going well? Describe it, and then compare your experience of memory with Wordsworth's.

Do a close reading of "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey." What is Wordsworth saying about the cycles of life? What is he saying about maturity? Wisdom? Time? Relationships? Use specific details from the poem to support your arguments.

Who understand death better in "We are Seven": the little girl who has lost two siblings, or the speaker? Why? Support your argument with specific details from the poem.

In "The Tables Turned" Wordsworth tells his friend to put his books away and go outside to be a part of nature. Do you think that this is good advice? Why or why not? Use details from several of Wordsworth's poems to support your claim.

How does Wordsworth use form, rhyme scheme and meter to convey meaning? Choose two or three poems that use different forms to discuss how structure can contribute to the meaning of a poem.

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Wordsworth’s Poetical Works Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for Wordsworth’s Poetical Works is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

To a Butterfly by William Wordsworth

D reminds him of forgotten days

Explain the philosophical, socio-cultural and religious concerns in the Tintern abbey

This is a pretty detailed question for this short space. You can actually find what you need at the GradeSaver link below:

https://www.gradesaver.com/wordsworths-poetical-works/study-guide/summary-lines-composed-a-few-miles-above-tintern-abbey

Differences and similarities between London and London 1802?

I know the poem London 1802. Is there a separate poem called only London?

Study Guide for Wordsworth’s Poetical Works

Wordsworth's Poetical Works study guide contains a biography of William Wordsworth, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  • About Wordsworth's Poetical Works
  • Wordsworth's Poetical Works Summary
  • Character List

Essays for Wordsworth’s Poetical Works

Wordsworth's Poetical Works essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of William Wordsworth's poetry and prose.

  • Wordsworth and Blake: The Plight of Mankind
  • Back to the Future: Wordsworth's "Ode to Duty" and "Elegiac Stanzas"
  • The Union of Opposing Elements: Poems by Wordsworth and Coleridge
  • The Connection between the Natural Scene and the Speaker's State of Mind in William Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"
  • Blake and Wordsworth Versus Society

Lesson Plan for Wordsworth’s Poetical Works

  • About the Author
  • Study Objectives
  • Common Core Standards
  • Introduction to Wordsworth's Poetical Works
  • Relationship to Other Books
  • Bringing in Technology
  • Notes to the Teacher
  • Related Links
  • Wordsworth's Poetical Works Bibliography

E-Text of Wordsworth’s Poetical Works

Wordsworth's Poetical Works e-text contains the full text of William Wordsworth's poetry and prose.

  • Table of Contents
  • A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal
  • Composed Upon Westminster Bridge
  • I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
  • It Is a Beauteous Evening

Wikipedia Entries for Wordsworth’s Poetical Works

  • Introduction
  • Early career
  • Germany and move to the Lake District
  • Married life

essay about london 1802

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  1. "London, 1802" by William Wordsworth Essay Sample

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  2. 😀 Wordsworth sonnet london 1802. by William Wordsworth. 2019-01-11

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  4. London 1802 Analysis Line By Line Or To Milton William Wordsworth

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  5. Analysis / Summary of "London, 1802" By William Wordsworth : Romantic Poetry

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  6. London 1802

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COMMENTS

  1. London, 1802 Poem Summary and Analysis

    "London, 1802" is a sonnet by William Wordsworth, one of the most influential English Romantic Poets. The poem praises the famous 17th-century poet John Milton and suggests that England would be better off if it modeled itself after Milton and the values of his era.

  2. Free Essay: "London, 1802" by William Wordsworth

    "London, 1802" speaks of a dead man, John Milton who was once known as a powerful poet who had great influence to those that knew him. Wordsworth wishes for Milton to be alive at the moment in history to aid England in all its struggles of humanity.

  3. Wordsworth's Poetry "London, 1802" Summary & Analysis

    "London, 1802" Previous Next Summary The speaker addresses the soul of the dead poet John Milton, saying that he should be alive at this moment in history, for England needs him. England, the speaker says, is stagnant and selfish, and Milton could raise her up again.

  4. London, 1802 by William Wordsworth (Poem + Analysis)

    Summary Wordsworth's ' London 1802′, depicts the degradation of societal values, and his hope for Milton to restore England to its former glory. In ' London, 1802' Wordsworth nostalgically looks back at England before the Industrial Revolution. According to him, it was once a place of happiness, religion, chivalry, art, and literature.

  5. Wordsworth's Poetical Works "London, 1802" Summary and Analysis

    Analysis "London, 1802" is a sonnet with a rhyme scheme of abbaabbacddece. The poem is written in the second person and addresses the late poet John Milton, who lived from 1608-1674 and is most famous for having written Paradise Lost.

  6. London, 1802 Summary

    Summary "London, 1802" is a Petrarchan sonnet consisting of fourteen total lines. While it lacks distinct stanzas, the poem can be divided into two sections: the first eight lines comprise the...

  7. A Short Analysis of William Wordsworth's 'London, 1802'

    Although he's best-known in the popular consciousness as the poet who praised daffodils and wandered lonely as a cloud, 'London, 1802' shows a Wordsworth who is very critical of England and its people, and looking back nostalgically to a happier time in English (literary) history.

  8. London, 1802 Themes

    Summary Themes Questions & Answers Analysis London, 1802 Themes The main themes in "London, 1802" are cultural decline, the power of the soul, and literary guidance. Cultural decline:...

  9. London, 1802

    "London, 1802" is a poem by the English Romantic poet William Wordsworth. In the poem Wordsworth castigates the English people as stagnant and selfish, and eulogises seventeenth-century poet John Milton . Composed in 1802, "London, 1802" was published for the first time in Poems, in Two Volumes (1807). Structure and synopsis

  10. London, 1802 Analysis

    Summary Themes Questions & Answers Analysis Analysis PDF Cite Share Marissa Lorberau, M.S. | Certified Educator Last Updated September 6, 2023. "London, 1802" is a Petrarchan, or Italian, sonnet.

  11. London, 1802 by William Wordsworth

    London, 1802 By William Wordsworth Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour: England hath need of thee: she is a fen Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen, Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower, Have forfeited their ancient English dower Of inward happiness. We are selfish men; Oh! raise us up, return to us again;

  12. London, 1802 by William Wordsworth

    Lesson Summary Frequently Asked Questions Who is the speaker addressing in "London, 1802?" The speaker is addressing John Milton, perhaps the greatest English poet. Milton wrote Paradise Lost and...

  13. London, 1802 Background

    18 pages • 36 minutes read William Wordsworth London, 1802 Fiction | Poem | Adult | Published in 1807 A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. Download PDF Access Full Guide Study Guide Summary Background

  14. London, 1802 By William Wordsworth Summary

    William Wordsworth: London, 1802. William Wordsworth wrote the poem London, 1802 as a call to the late poet John Milton. It is a sonnet which is written to serve two objectives: be a tribute to the genius Milton and express the sad realities of London in Wordsworth's opinion. The poem starts with a cry for help given the situation of London ...

  15. London, 1802 Analysis

    Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in London, 1802. Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem. End Rhyme: End Rhyme is used to make the stanza melodious. William Wordsworth has used end rhyme in this poem such as; "fen/pen", "way/lay ...

  16. Literary Criticism London 1802 Wordsworth

    Rula Jwabre. "London, 1802" is a sonnet inspired by, and in praise of, John Milton, one of the greatest poets of the English language and one of its most accomplished writers of sonnets. The form of the poem is thus particularly appropriate to its subject. The work opens by exclaiming Milton's name, which is metrically emphasized through the ...

  17. Wordsworth's Poetical Works Essay Questions

    Wordsworth's Poetical Works study guide contains a biography of William Wordsworth, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. ... In his poem "London, 1802" Wordsworth writes that humanity had lost its virtues and morality. He asks the deceased poet John Milton to come back and teach the world ...

  18. PDF POETRY

    "London, 1802" is an Italian sonnet with a rhyme scheme of abbaabbacddece. The poem is written in the second person and addresses the late poet John Milton, who lived from 1608-1674 and is most famous for having written Paradise Lost. The poem has two main purposes: (1) to pay homage to Milton by

  19. London, 1802 Questions and Answers

    by William Wordsworth Start Free Trial Summary Themes Questions & Answers Analysis London, 1802 Questions and Answers How does the metaphor "she is a fen / of stagnant waters" in "London, 1802"...

  20. Essay Comparing London 1802 And Douglass

    Essay Comparing London 1802 And Douglass. The poems "London, 1802" by William Wordsworth and "Douglass" by Paul Laurence Dunbar create similar ideas of how leadership is necessary during a time of frustration and despair. "London" introduces the English during a period of lacking progress, and is meant to build up action to move the ...

  21. William Blake vs William Wordsworth: Moral Crisis Element ...

    Compare/Contrast Essay. William Blake's "London" and William Wordsworth's "London, 1802" are both centered on a London that's changing for the worse, undergoing a moral crisis and the rapid degradation of English society as a whole, including its previous virtues and proper etiquette.

  22. London, 1802 Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

    Even in this poem, misleadingly titled "London, 1802," the poet manages to bring up natural imagery and doesn't once mention the city of London. Wordsworth uses images of nature as both positive and negative forces in this poem, framing both Milton and England itself in the natural world. Line 2-3: Gross.

  23. An poetry essay Of London 1802 by William Wordsworth on structure

    In William Wordsworth's poem "London, 1802," the poet reflects on the sorry state of contemporary England and calls upon the spirit of John Milton to guide the nation back to its former glory. To convey his message effectively, Wordsworth employs a skillful use of structure, diction, and imagery. The structure of "London, 1802" consists of a ...