Analysis of William Wordsworth’s “Upon Westminster Bridge”

Analysis of ‘Upon Westminster Bridge’ by William Wordsworth
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People there were always busy with themselves and in hectic pace — nobody had enough time to enjoy nature or something like that. According to this fact, many people neglected their religious belief and some of them might even have lost their belief in God.

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That might be the point Wordsworth had seen and thus he mentally digested it in his sonnet. He probably wanted to make people aware that there is something more than the big-city life which is connected with hard work for the lower classes and a life of decadence the upper classes enjoyed.


As typical for a sonnet, it consists of fourteen verses, which can be divided, in other words arranged, into four parts — there are three quatrains and one final couplet. The rhyme scheme is adapted to the form of the sonnet which leads to the rhyme pattern abba abba cdcdcd.

The last striking point about the structure of the poem is the occurrence of many punctuation marks which slow down the speed of the sonnet while reading it. Therefore the reader has the possibility is rather forced to read and understand the poem in a closer sense and finally is able to enjoy it to the full. The first quatrain deals with the description of the appeal of beauty which can be recognized by looking around while standing on the bridge.

The speaker of the poem declares the view as most impressive — the earth is not able to show people something fairer than the view from Westminster Bridge, so it is a kind of uniqueness which is shown here. This position is supported by the second verse which tells that anybody who is attracted by the view cannot evade, only if this person probably has a deaf character.

The comparison made in the fourth verse is very interesting — the city wears the beauty of the morning like a garment. This fact implies that the beauty of the morning is something temporal in the city.

Wordsworth's Poetical Works

A garment is a piece of cloth which can be worn but taken off as well. Consequently the beauty can only be regarded in the morning or rather the morning represents the beauty.

Caitlin MacPhail: “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802”, William Wordsworth

When the day continues, the beauty vanishes, just because the life of the city begins. In general it is hardly possible to see any of them caused by pollution etc. This kind of natural spectacle must have evoked deep emotions in the speaker of the poem who tells us that he neither saw something like that nor he experienced such a relaxed feeling connected with this sight — the whole trouble of business-like London was absent at this moment and nothing uneasy or stressful remained.

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The twelfth verse tells us that the river flows at its own will. In general the Thames would have been dammed up with the intention to use the water power for industries or something like that by the inhabitants of London. But in the morning the river is free, possesses its own will and is able to glide in every direction, at least so far this would be possible.

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Now, Wordsworth wanted to marry his childhood sweetheart, Mary Hutchinson. Suddenly the city turns into a big sleeping body. To find him here praising a city landscape is therefore surprising, though, as mentioned above, the city has been stripped of its population. There is a sense that the sun is dressing the city to meet another day and that it has never steeped the countryside in the same manner as it does the sleeping city. Nature is here presented from a different perspective. The theme of the poem is London as it lies asleep in the early morning sun.

The last but one verse refers to the already mentioned calmness. The speaker of the sonnet might be a little bit confused by the almost deathly silence and therefore he addresses to God. It can be regarded as a question to God when the speaker says that even the houses seem to have fallen asleep. Never did sun more beautifully steep In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;. Dear God! 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. William Wordsworth's Biography — A medium-length biography of William Wordsworth, including information about his upbringing, political beliefs, poetic theories, and contemporary poets.

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

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Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, is William Wordsworth's sonnet to the capital city of London, written before the full. Here is the poem, and a few words by way of analysis: Earth has not William Wordsworth's sonnet 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge.

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