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.

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.

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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.

London, 1802 works on such a lot of degrees. To start with, it’s an obvious name for help; the poet, William Wordsworth, laments the kingdom of Britain and expresses his fears approximately the health of the countrywide character. Also, it is an elegy for John Milton, a superb English poet of the seventeenth century (famous for the terrific -long and awesome epic, Paradise lost). Eventually, it’s an accurate old-fashioned sonnet.

In just fourteen lines, Wordsworth manages to invoke his poetic forefather, caricature out his view of Britain’s individual and population, and exhibit to us just how professional he is with rhyme and meter by way of crafting a fantastic Petrarchan sonnet. No longer only is the sonnet achieved and polished example of its form, it is also a formidable condemnation of the poet’s state and fellow countrymen.

London, 1802 is a sonnet stimulated by, and in praise of, John Milton, one of the best poets of the English language and one in every of its most done writers of sonnets.

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).

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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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