We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

“London, 1802” by William Wordsworth

The whole doc is available only for registered users

A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteed

Order Now

A short Petrarchan sonnet by William Wordsworth, “London, 1802” is a poem filled with creative symbols that portray Wordsworth’s emphasis on feeling and passion with natural morality and goodness. In the poem, Wordsworth’s ideal vision of life was that he believed anyone could participate in it, if only they placed effort into what they were doing. In “London 1802,” he uses a dramatic tone combined with frustration because he wants to stand from an ethical perspective yet exert more aesthetic influence rather than just social influence.

“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. Wordsworth believes Milton could somehow make a difference in the selfish and unhappy people of England by raising them up in power and freedom. Milton could give England “…manners, virtue, freedom, power.” The speaker admires the dead poet and places him on this paramount position because it seems as if his “…soul was like a Star…” with “…a voice whose sound was like the sea…” The speaker sees Milton as an individual who can enlighten England and correct all that is unethical.

Wordsworth uses his Petrarchan style to divide the octave into describing England in its pitiful ways and the last six lines as describing the influential John Milton. The rhyme scheme is ABBAABBA and BCCDBD. Along with the form of the sonnet, the symbols illustrate a sense of all the institutions Wordsworth conveys as dilemmas in England. The altar represents religion, the sword stands for the military, the pen symbolizes literature, and the fireside signifies the home, all of which has lost “…inward happiness.” In addition, Wordsworth uses a capitalized Star and the peaceful sea to portray Milton’s compelling and potent traits that could save the dwindling England society.

The short but powerful poem comes from Wordsworth ideas of trying to present a kind of imagery such as Milton being this one and only shining star in the sky that inspires anyone who gazes up on it and England as a filthy swamp area being as “…a fen of stagnant waters…” Along with the imagery follows the distinct diction written throughout the poem. Some of which describe Milton’s possession of moral perfection and humble presence. He moved through the world with “…cheerful godliness…yet thy heart the lowliest duties on herself did lay.”All in all, “London 1802” is poem flowered with hope and prayer for a man of great influence to come into a country filled with various types of destruction and place impact in the so called “selfish men” of England. With a moralistic value to the sonnet, the speaker is in the right set of mind to revolutionize a country into happiness.

Poem “London, 1802” by William Wordsworth and commentaries by Sparknotes used.

Related Topics

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Can't find What you were Looking for?

Get access to our huge, continuously updated knowledge base

The next update will be in:
14 : 59 : 59