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Compare and Evaluate the Presentation and Effectiveness of ideas in 'London'

In this worksheet, students will exercise their comparison and evaluation skills, between 'London' and other poems. This activity is a mixed activity and requires some manual marking near the end. The marking criteria will be clearly detailed for your ease.

'Compare and Evaluate the Presentation and Effectiveness of ideas in 'London'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   AQA, Pearson Edexcel

Curriculum topic:   Poetry, Poetry Anthology Collections

Curriculum subtopic:   Power and Conflict: 'London', Time and Place: 'London'

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Want to practice your comparative and evaluation skills between 'London' and other poems in the 'Power and Conflict' cluster?

 

Thought bubble

 

Well, you've come to the right place, because this activity will help you learn to compare and evaluate ideas, attitudes and themes in different poems. It's just a bit of multitasking and you can do it!

 

It'll take some good deduction skills, as well as an understanding of the themes and ideas you want to discuss. You need to think about how the poet presents ideas differently/similarly in both poems. 

 

1. Make your point!

 In 'London', Blake presents the theme of power of humans as something negative and challenges the idea of authority given to higher-class organisations (like the government and the church). This is emphasised through the quote "how the Chimney-sweepers cry, every blackning church appalls'" The present-tense verbs "cry" and "appalls" highlights the corruption in society and shows the power given to the church, causing the innocent lower-class citizens (the chimney-sweepers) to suffer. 

 

2. Link to another poem!

 

Similarly, in 'Checking Out Me History', Agard challenges the theme of power of humans, presenting it in a negative light. The metaphor "bandage up me eye with me own history" shows the controlling nature of those in authority and highlights how certain parts of history are hidden. 

 

3. Compare!

These poems compare in terms of the power of humans. In both poems, the idea that authoritative figures have complete power over the entire population is presented. However, 'Checking Out Me History' ends on a more positive note- there is a sense of defiance against the authority and, instead, the speaker is "carving out" his identity. 'London' ends on a negative note, which gives a reader the impression that change cannot happen.

 

4. Evaluate

Both 'London' and 'Checking Out Me History' challenge the power of humans, especially those in authority. They both highlight the negative effects of concentrated human power, making the reader aware of corruption in society. The poems, however, differ in terms of solutions. While 'Checking Out Me History' leaves the reader with an idea that change in society is possible, 'London' contradicts this idea and emphasises the fact that change is no longer possible.

 

A tip: it'll help to jot down any new/helpful advice you get given in this activity!

Think about comparing 'London' and 'Remains'

 

Which feature would make the most sense to compare the two poems with? Write the one correct number down. 

 

1. Semantic field of death

2. Use of plosive adjectives

3. The technique of personification

4. Possessive pronouns

Think about comparing 'London' to 'Charge of the Light Brigade'.

 

Which language technique would make the most sense to compare the two poems with? Write the correct number.

 

1. Personification of nature

2. Repetition of phrases/words

3. Similes regarding the theme of death

 

Think about comparing 'London' and 'My Last Duchess'

 

Which feature/theme would make the most sense to compare the two poems with? Write the correct number.

 

1. Theme of legacy 

2. Imagery of sex

3. Theme of authority

4. Adverbs regarding the passing of time

Think about comparing 'London' and 'Exposure

 

Which feature would make the most sense to compare the two poems with?

 

Write down the correct number

 

1. Hopelessness of those without power

2. Present-continuous verbs and adverbs

3. Theme of nature's power

4. Motif of pride

1

2

3

4

Think about comparing 'London' and 'Ozymandias'

 

Which idea would you use to compare these two poems?

 

 

The idea that London is a corrupt society, however Ozymandias is a great ruler

The idea that Ozymandias is a power-hungry man, however the government in 'London' lack power

The idea that Ozymandias is a corrupt character which links to the corruption in the city of London

The idea that alliteration is used in the poem 'London' and 'Ozymandias', which reflects the suffering of large groups of people

Think about comparing 'London' to 'Kamikaze' and 'Poppies'.

 

 

What themes, language/structural/form features and ideas does each poem have?

 

Some themes are shared between the three poems.

 'London''Kamikaze''Poppies'
Plosive alliteration
Sibilance
General motif of loss
Personification

Think about comparing 'London' to 'My Last Duchess'

 

 

What themes, language/structural/form features and ideas does each poem have.

 

Some of these are shared between the two poems.

 Theme of powerTheme of natureMetaphors of confinementRepetitionAlliterationEnjambement
'London'
'My Last Duchess'

Pick three poems, out of the six options below, that you think would be best to compare 'London' with.

 

Consider the idea: the motif of power and corruption, and language techniques.

'Kamikaze'

'Poppies'

'Ozymandias'

'Bayonet Charge'

'Charge of the Light Brigade'

'My Last Duchess'

How do 'London' and 'Storm on the Island' present the theme of powerlessness? 

 

Write two sentences for how the theme is presented similarly. Make sure to include your evidence (two marks).

 

How do 'London' and 'My Last Duchess' present power?

 

Two sentences for how the theme is presented similarly (think about the devices both poems use). Make sure to include your evidence (two marks).

 

Two sentences for how the theme is presented differently. Make sure to include your evidence (two marks).

  • Question 1

Think about comparing 'London' and 'Remains'

 

Which feature would make the most sense to compare the two poems with? Write the one correct number down. 

 

1. Semantic field of death

2. Use of plosive adjectives

3. The technique of personification

4. Possessive pronouns

CORRECT ANSWER
1
EDDIE SAYS
Both 'London' and 'Remains' have a semantic field of death. Think about how death is presented in both the poems and how this makes them similar and different. 'London' subtly presents death as something the lower-class, working citizens will inevitably face. For example, the metaphor "runs in blood down palace walls" could almost foreshadow the soldiers fate. It can also foreshadow a revolution against the rich, just like what happened in the French Revolution. Either way, though, death is hinted at. 'Remains' presents the death of a man who was killed by the speaker himself. Although the speaker uses colloquial language to describe the death ("tosses his guts back into is body"), the PTSD effects he faces later on makes the reader understand the guilt the speaker feels.
  • Question 2

Think about comparing 'London' to 'Charge of the Light Brigade'.

 

Which language technique would make the most sense to compare the two poems with? Write the correct number.

 

1. Personification of nature

2. Repetition of phrases/words

3. Similes regarding the theme of death

 

CORRECT ANSWER
2
EDDIE SAYS
Well done if you chose option two! The repetition of the phrases "In every..." and "marks of..." in 'London' and "half a league" and "rode the six hundred" in 'Charge of the Light Brigade' gives a sense of emphasis. The repetition of "In every...", which is repeated three times in the second stanza, gives a lot of emphasis to the large-scale of people affected by London's corruption. Similarly, the repetition of "half a league" emphasises the distance the soldiers travelled- they continued on "half a league", which roughly translates to one and a half miles onward. Although it seems short, the repetition creates a sense of the 'last-push'. How do the poems differ though? Think about structure and rhythm- what does the stanza length say about the poems. Is one more of a story rather than just a criticism?
  • Question 3

Think about comparing 'London' and 'My Last Duchess'

 

Which feature/theme would make the most sense to compare the two poems with? Write the correct number.

 

1. Theme of legacy 

2. Imagery of sex

3. Theme of authority

4. Adverbs regarding the passing of time

CORRECT ANSWER
3
EDDIE SAYS
In both 'London' and 'My Last Duchess', the theme of authority is highly significant. We already know that the Duke is a possessive and authoritative man. Similarly, the authority in 'London' lies with the government, who seem to keep the lower-class trapped (think about the metaphor of "mind-forg'd manacles" and what this suggests). There are key differences, however. Whilst 'My Last Duchess' tackles the authority of one man, which affects a limited number of people, 'London' shows authority of a large organisation (the government), which impacts an entire section of society (the lower-class citizens).
  • Question 4

Think about comparing 'London' and 'Exposure

 

Which feature would make the most sense to compare the two poems with?

 

Write down the correct number

 

1. Hopelessness of those without power

2. Present-continuous verbs and adverbs

3. Theme of nature's power

4. Motif of pride

CORRECT ANSWER
1
EDDIE SAYS
When reading both poems, the sense of hopelessness is apparent for both groups of people- the lower-class citizens of 'London' and the soldiers in 'Exposure'. Think about the different language techniques used to present this idea. For example, in 'London', the emotive language and metaphors of death used present the theme of hopelessness of the lower-class citizens. In 'Exposure', the use of personification of nature shows that human beings are, essentially, hopeless against nature. The personification also represents the melancholia and bitterness that the soldiers are feeling. The personification "dawn massing in the East her melancholy army" shows nature's power and symbolically presents the solider's as powerless.
  • Question 5

Think about comparing 'London' and 'Ozymandias'

 

Which idea would you use to compare these two poems?

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
The idea that Ozymandias is a corrupt character which links to the corruption in the city of London
EDDIE SAYS
Both poems address the idea of corruption in similar ways! The corruption in 'London' actually affects a large group of people- the lower-class citizens. Ozymandias' corruption seems to have the most effect on himself and his failed legacy.
  • Question 6

Think about comparing 'London' to 'Kamikaze' and 'Poppies'.

 

 

What themes, language/structural/form features and ideas does each poem have?

 

Some themes are shared between the three poems.

CORRECT ANSWER
 'London''Kamikaze''Poppies'
Plosive alliteration
Sibilance
General motif of loss
Personification
EDDIE SAYS
This is a bit of a tricky question and it may have caught you out slightly, but well done for having a go! Hopefully this has got you to look at shared ideas and devices across the the three poems. Jot down any inspirations you find! Think about how these ideas/devices convey certain themes/attitudes, too.
  • Question 7

Think about comparing 'London' to 'My Last Duchess'

 

 

What themes, language/structural/form features and ideas does each poem have.

 

Some of these are shared between the two poems.

CORRECT ANSWER
 Theme of powerTheme of natureMetaphors of confinementRepetitionAlliterationEnjambement
'London'
'My Last Duchess'
EDDIE SAYS
Hopefully, this has got you to look at shared ideas and devices across the these two poems. Jot down any inspirations you find!
  • Question 8

Pick three poems, out of the six options below, that you think would be best to compare 'London' with.

 

Consider the idea: the motif of power and corruption, and language techniques.

CORRECT ANSWER
'Ozymandias'
'Charge of the Light Brigade'
'My Last Duchess'
EDDIE SAYS
Out of all six, 'London' best compares to 'Ozymandias', 'Charge of the light Brigade' and 'My Last Duchess'. This is because of the shared themes and language techniques- 'My Last Duchess' and 'Ozymandias' relate through the themes of power and corruption. In all three poems, there is a dominant figure/organisation. 'Charge of the Light Brigade' relates to 'London' with the repetitive techniques both poems use.
  • Question 9

How do 'London' and 'Storm on the Island' present the theme of powerlessness? 

 

Write two sentences for how the theme is presented similarly. Make sure to include your evidence (two marks).

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
With questions like these, try and think as logically as possible. How are the two themes presented and what devices do the writers use to get the themes across? So, thinking about the subject's attitudes, the speaker's attitudes and what's actually going on in the poem (easier done than you might think) is a great idea. Then, think about how these attitudes are presented. Is it through passionate adjectives, symbolism/metaphor, maybe short sentences? Lastly, you've detailed out all the important bits, now structure your answer in a simple paragraph.
  • Question 10

How do 'London' and 'My Last Duchess' present power?

 

Two sentences for how the theme is presented similarly (think about the devices both poems use). Make sure to include your evidence (two marks).

 

Two sentences for how the theme is presented differently. Make sure to include your evidence (two marks).

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
With questions like these, try and think as logically as possible. HOW are the two themes presented and what devices do the writers use to GET the themes across? So, thinking about the subject's attitudes, the speaker's attitudes and what's actually going on in the poem (easier done than you might think) is a great idea. Then, think about how these attitudes are presented. Is it through passionate adjectives, symbolism/metaphor, maybe short sentences? Lastly, you've detailed out all the important bits. Now structure your answer in a simple paragraph. Well done, that's another activity completed!
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