Analysis Of The Poem ' London 1802 ' By William Wordsworth Essay

1183 Words Jul 27th, 2015 5 Pages
“London 1802” is a sonnet written by William Wordsworth. Composed in 1802, the poem was first published in Wordsworth’s Poems, In Two Volumes in 1807. “London 1802” invokes and eulogizes one of the greatest English poets of the seventeenth century, John Milton, who is famous for having written Paradise Lost. The poem laments the fact that Milton isn’t around anymore, since as Wordsworth sees it, “England hath needs thee” for he believes that England has stagnated morally by comparison to Milton’s period where it was once a great place of happiness, religion, art, chivalry and literature. Wordsworth condemns the English for having lost sight of its past glories and virtues as the English can only be described as a stagnant swampland where people are selfish and debased due to its latest conflicts with France. By expressing his wish that Milton should “be living at this hour”, Wordsworth is convinced that Milton is capable of inspiring England to greatness once again to “give us (England) manners, virtue, freedom and power.”

William Wordsworth was one of the major English poets of the Romantic era. Although Wordsworth at one point had considered the sonnet form as “egregiously absurd”, he changed his mind when his sister Dorothy, reacquainted him with some of Milton’s sonnets in 1802. He admired the “dignified simplicity” and “majestic harmony” of Milton’s poem which inspired his own outburst of sonnet writing that year as he eventually composed more than 500 poems using…

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