In ”William Wordsworth: Sonnet: Composed Upon Westminster Bridge,” how does the speaker convey a sense of admiration for the scene?
In this poem the speaker stands ”upon” Westminster Bridge and describes the view he sees with a sense of amazement and admiration. It is morning when there is nobody on the streets and the factories have not started working yet. From the description later on we can see that he talks about London in the eighteenth-nineteenth century not about the one we know now. This made him able to demonstrate how nature and man lived together at that time since London was ”open unto the fields” and was not so expanded as it is today. The poet enjoys standing on the bridge (which is a symbol of connection which supports the idea of unity between nature and man) and makes his amazement felt with plenty of devices.
The opening line arrives as a shock: ”Earth has not anything to show more fair”. This is a rather strong statement as he universalizes his thought to the whole globe. It indicates that this is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen but we do not know what it is as of yet and so, it begins to interest us. The ”:” on the end of the line suggests that the next line will tell us what he meant but that is not the case which is also a device that he uses to rise the interest. He states that only a ”dull” person could ”pass by” a sight like this thus expressing the beauty of the view. The word ”touching” gives a sense of amazement as well as the poet has such deep feelings for a simple ”sight”. Referring to this (as of yet unknown) thing as ”majesty” rises our interest to the top and at the same time creates a feeling of vastness and glory. The next line then finally tells us that the view was of a ”City[’s]”. Writing city with a capital ”c” indicates respect and superiority.
The way the speaker talks about the morning also wakes a sense of admiration up in us. He sets up a simile by referring to ”the beauty of the...