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"Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1803" Presentation

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Ian A

on 25 March 2015

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Transcript of "Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1803" Presentation

Poetry Analysis Project
By: Ian Arzt

Author's Intended Meaning
The author’s, William Wordsworth, intended purpose for his 14-line sonnet is to tell the reader that morning brings beauty to London when looking out on the Westminster Bridge. London is a large city in England, and the irony of this is that morning would never bring beauty to the city because of the large smoke stacks from homes and factories starting up. Wordsworth describes morning in London as, “Silent, bare, Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples… all bright and glittering in the smokeless air” (Wordsworth 5-8). Usually things that bring noise and disgust such as “Ships”, “Towers”. In the next few lines, Wordsworth uses a rhyme scheme to enhance the beauty of London in the morning. His rhyme scheme goes, “Steep... Hill… Deep… Will… Asleep… Still” (Wordsworth 9-14). His A-B-A-B rhyme scheme flows very well and causes the reader to feel intrigued with the beauty. William Wordsworth uses imagery, irony, and his A-B-A-B rhyme scheme to express the beauty of London to his audience.
William Wordsworth uses irony in “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802” because he usually appalls the city of London. Another use of irony that Wordsworth uses is that city of London would never be silent and smokeless in the morning like he describes. Wordsworth writes, “Dear God! the very houses seem asleep; And all that mighty heart is lying still” (Wordsworth 13-14). He uses “Dear God” because he is so stunned and shocked about how beautiful London is with silence and when no one is awake yet. In a background analysis of William Wordsworth, it says that Wordsworth appalled being in the city of London because of the amount of noise. Wordsworth says that he has never felt so calm passing through London before (Wordsworth 11). His emotions might have changed for his visit in London this time because he was on his way to visit his daughter in Calasia. Wordsworth uses irony to describe the beauty of London in the morning on his way to visit his daughter.

Works Cited
"Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802"

By: William Wordsworth
Background:

William Wordsworth was born on April 23, 1770 in Cockermouth, England.

His mother died when he was just 8 years old. By the time he was in grade

school, William's father also passed away. After attending St. Johns College,

Wordsworth toured Europe. While touring he fell in love with France and

came in contact with the French Revolution. This gave him more sympathy

for the common man. This left him and his 4 other siblings orphans. In 1802,

he was on his way to Calasia to visit his daughter. On his way, he passed

through London, specifically Westminster Bridge on the date of September

3, 1802. As stated on bl.uk (British Library), Wordsworth hated London. But

his poem, "Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802", talks

about London's beauty.
Paraphrase
William Wordsworth starts off the poem by explaining that Westminster Bridge is the fairest place on Earth. He then puts a colon to begin listing. He says his view of London is so soft like a garment. He describes the morning as being soundless and bare. William states that he has never felt so calm looking out upon the Westminster Bridge.
Literary Device Paragraph: Irony
Literary Device Paragraph:
Personification

In “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802”, William Wordsworth uses personification or making inanimate objects act like they have human features. Wordsworth uses personification to give the beauty of London more meaning. In line 4, Wordsworth says, “This city now doth, like a garment, wear…” (Wordsworth 4). Wordsworth uses “garment”, something a human would wear, to make the city seem soft and quiet on a late summer day. Later, Wordsworth personifies the houses to make them seem like they are human and more importantly; to emphasize the beauty. On line 13, Wordsworth writes, “Dear God! the very houses seem asleep.” Wordsworth describes the houses asleep even though it is the people inside the houses that are actually asleep. Wordsworth could be using these human features to describe what he hopes his daughter is when he sees her in Calasia. Wordsworth uses personification to give life to inanimate objects in order to emphasize the beauty that the morning brings in London.
Discovering Literature: Romantics and Victorians. British Library, 2013. Web. 24
Feb. 2015.

Davis, Paul, Gary Harrison, David M. Johnson, and John F. Crawford, eds. The Bedford Anthology of
World Literature: The Modern World, 1650 – The Present. Vol. 2. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. Print.

Wordsworth, William. The Excursion. 1814. Language English.
Wordsworth, William, Sally Bushell (Editor), James A. Butler (Editor), and Michael C. Jaye (Editor). The excursion. Cornell University Press: 2007. Hardback, 1226 pages, Language English, ISBN: 0801446538.

Structure and Form
This poem is a 14-line sonnet
From lines 9-14, there is an ABAB Rhyme Scheme
Entire poem is the form of a list
Only 4 sentences in the entire poem
Does not capitalize the "t" in "the" on line 13
Full transcript