“Men of England” and “London” Essay

Percy Shelley is known as one of the greatest romantic poets of his time and is also noted as one of the finest lyric poets in the English language. Shelley’s work “Men of England” talks about the dispute between two classes in England, rich and the poor, and discusses how the working class should bind together to have a revolution. The poem mentions England’s government at the time and how their king, George III, is going insane. This poem will be compared and contrasted with William Blake’s “London” which talks about the disparaging situation that London is facing due to the prior generation’s mistakes made by the government. Some comparisons that will be demonstrated are the talk about the lower class of society in both poems as well as the discouraging tone that both poems present. In contrast, the speakers in the poem are on different subjects such as the speaker in “Men of England” calling for a revolution of the poor nobles and the speaker in “London” making the public realize what shambles the city of London is in.To begin, Percy Shelley’s “Men of England” compares to Blake’s “London” because of their talk of society as a whole. When talking about the government, Shelley compares them to bees saying“Wherefore, Bees of England, forgeMany a weapon, chain, and scourge,That these stingless drones may spoilThe forced produce of your toil” (9-12)This quote is making reference to the Lords as being male bees who do no work but watch over the other bees who are doing work. This statement is kind of a wise crack to the higher powers because it is saying that they have no sting and they are harmless, giving a beacon of hope to the working class. Blake’s “London” compares to this because he talks about the…

…d” are two of the greater works that were produced during the romantic period. Both Blake and Shelley demonstrated problems that were going on in England at the time. In comparison, Shelley and Blake made good sense in talking about the less fortunate classes in society as well as the discouraging and dreary tones that both poems possess. Although the two poems had their similarities they did have one major contrast between them. That contrast was the different motives presented in the poems. The poem “London”, by William Blake, exemplified the problems that carry on from generation to generation and that society in London will never be the same because of past mistakes made. In “Men of England”, by Percy Shelley, the speaker uses his words as inspiration to the poor to cause a revolution and make them realize they do not have to settle for the lifestyle they live.

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