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Compare Language in 'London' and Other Poems

In this worksheet, students can practise their language comparison skills between 'London' and other poems.

'Compare Language in 'London' and Other Poems' 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 revise your language comparison skills in 'London' and other poems in your 'Power and Conflict' cluster?

 

 

Thought bubble

 

 

Well, you've come to the right place. In this activity, you'll learn to practice comparing the way the poets use language to convey different and similar attitudes and ideas. 

 

 

In your exam, you'll do really well to compare the way that poets use language to present their attitudes. You'll do even better if you can compare the way they use language to show different/similar attitudes and ideas. You'll do the best if you can compare the language that is used and how it is used.

 

 

 

 

Here's an example of some good language comparison:

 

 

In 'London', Blake uses the technique of repetition, which helps to emphasise the severity of the misfortunes faced by the lower-class citizens. For example, the repetition of the phrase "in every..." makes the grandness of those affected by the corruption of society much larger. The reader is therefore made to realise the extent of the issue and empathise with each individual much more. In the poem "Remains", Armitage uses the same technique of repetition, however, this is to emphasise the guilt felt by the soldiers. For example, the repetition of "probably armed, possibly not", shows the distress felt by the soldier, due to the possibility of an innocent person's death.

In the poem 'London', Blake uses metaphors.

 

Tick one other poem which use metaphors.

 

'Checking Out Me History'

'Bayonet Charge'

'Kamikaze'

In 'London' Blake uses sibilance in the quote "and the hapless Soldiers sigh".

 

What other poem uses sibilance? Write the number of the correct answer down below.

1. Storm on the Island ("...we build our houses squat")

2. War Photographer ("With spools of suffering set out in ordered rows")

3. Kamikaze ("At the little fish, strung out like bunting")

4. Ozymandias ("My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings") 

In 'London', Blake presents the theme of innocence.

 

Which two other poems from the selection below also presents this theme? Write the title of the poem in the text box, below.

 

Think about the language techniques used to present the theme in the correct poems.

 

'Exposure'

'The Emigree'

'Ozymandias'

'Bayonet Charge'

In 'London', Blake uses plosive alliteration:

 

"...blackening...blood...blasts...blights..."

 

HINT: plosive alliteration is the repetition of harsh-sounding letters, for example- 'p' and 'b' and 't'.

 

Which two other poems uses plosive alliteration?

 

'The Emigree'

'Poppies'

'Ozymandias'

'Kamikaze'

How do 'London' and 'Remains' similarly present the theme of death?

 

Pick one number out of:

 

1. 'London' and 'Remains' both have a semantic field of death, which creates an overall theme of death in the poem.

 

2.'London' and 'Remains' both use metaphors regarding innocence, which suggests that the theme of death is present.

How does 'London' compare with 'Exposure'?

 

Pick one option from below. Write the correct number in the text box.

 

1. Both poems use the technique of metaphor. In 'London' there's the "mind-forg'd manacles" and in 'Exposure' there's the "slowly our ghosts drag home". In both cases the metaphors are used to convey bleakness and desperation.

 

2. Both poems use personal pronouns. In 'London' the speaker states "I wander" and in 'Exposure' the speaker states "our brains ache". Both poems use personal pronouns to convey isolation and separation.

How do 'London' and 'War Photographer' use emotive language in their poems? 

 

Write the one correct number in the text box.

 

1. Both 'London' and 'War Photographer' use emotive language to present cruelty. In 'London', language such as "ban" and "manacles" is used. In 'War Photographer' language such as "red" and "softly" is used.

 

2. Both 'London' and 'War Photographer' use emotive language to present pain and sadness. In 'London', Blake uses a semantic field of sadness in the words "cry", "tears" and "woe". In 'War Photographer' Duffy uses a semantic field of sadness in "cries", "tears" and "agonies".

Tick the devices which belong to 'London' and 'My Last Duchess'. Some are shared.

 

 Semantic field of deathSemantic field of jealousyPersonal pronounsRhetorical questionsSexual languageReligious imagery
'London'
'My Last Duchess'

Name one other poem where, like 'London', there is a semantic field of privilege and prejudice

 

Write the correct poem in the text box below.

 

Hint: privilege is when one group of people have more rights than another group.

 

'Kamikaze'

'Charge of the Light Brigade'

'My Last Duchess'

'Checking Out Me History'

Last one! A little bit easier this time.

 

 

Tick three language devices which link 'London' and 'Ozymandias'.

Sibilance

Personification

Semantic field of sex

Metaphor

Personal pronouns

Natural imagery

  • Question 1

In the poem 'London', Blake uses metaphors.

 

Tick one other poem which use metaphors.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
'Bayonet Charge'
EDDIE SAYS
'London' and 'Bayonet Charge' both use metaphors! In both, the effect created is meant to dramatise the poem, giving it interest and adding depth to it.
  • Question 2

In 'London' Blake uses sibilance in the quote "and the hapless Soldiers sigh".

 

What other poem uses sibilance? Write the number of the correct answer down below.

1. Storm on the Island ("...we build our houses squat")

2. War Photographer ("With spools of suffering set out in ordered rows")

3. Kamikaze ("At the little fish, strung out like bunting")

4. Ozymandias ("My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings") 

CORRECT ANSWER
2
EDDIE SAYS
Good work if you chose 'War Photographer'! If you read the poem 'War Photographer', there is a lot of sibilance (which is the repeated sound of the consonant 's'). Perhaps this is to set the attitude of the poem. A very quiet and hushed, however bitter, tone is created- reinforcing the hatred the speaker feels towards his job. Similarly, the sibilance in 'London' almost mimics a 'hissing' tone, which adds to the unpleasant feeling that Blake is creating.
  • Question 3

In 'London', Blake presents the theme of innocence.

 

Which two other poems from the selection below also presents this theme? Write the title of the poem in the text box, below.

 

Think about the language techniques used to present the theme in the correct poems.

 

'Exposure'

'The Emigree'

'Ozymandias'

'Bayonet Charge'

CORRECT ANSWER
'The Emigree'
'Exposure'
EDDIE SAYS
Both 'The Emigree' and 'Exposure' contain the theme of innocence. In 'The Emigree', the first two stanzas have a semantic field of childhood and happiness, for example, adjectives such as "graceful", verbs such as "glow", and nouns such as "doll". This links in well to the theme of innocence. 'Exposure' tackles the theme of innocence in a slightly different way. The use of personification in the poem (e.g- "...in the merciless iced east winds that knive us") helps the reader understand the innocence of the soldiers and empathise with them.
  • Question 4

In 'London', Blake uses plosive alliteration:

 

"...blackening...blood...blasts...blights..."

 

HINT: plosive alliteration is the repetition of harsh-sounding letters, for example- 'p' and 'b' and 't'.

 

Which two other poems uses plosive alliteration?

 

'The Emigree'

'Poppies'

'Ozymandias'

'Kamikaze'

CORRECT ANSWER
'Poppies'
'Ozymandias'
EDDIE SAYS
The plosive alliteration in poppies ("my stomach busy, making tucks, darts, pleats...") and in Ozymandias ("...boundless and bare") creates a harsher sound in the poem. It may seem surprising that plosive alliteration exists in the poem 'Poppies', however this could reflect the frustrations and nervousness felt by the mother.
  • Question 5

How do 'London' and 'Remains' similarly present the theme of death?

 

Pick one number out of:

 

1. 'London' and 'Remains' both have a semantic field of death, which creates an overall theme of death in the poem.

 

2.'London' and 'Remains' both use metaphors regarding innocence, which suggests that the theme of death is present.

CORRECT ANSWER
1
EDDIE SAYS
One is the correct answer! In both poems, a semantic field of death is apparent.
  • Question 6

How does 'London' compare with 'Exposure'?

 

Pick one option from below. Write the correct number in the text box.

 

1. Both poems use the technique of metaphor. In 'London' there's the "mind-forg'd manacles" and in 'Exposure' there's the "slowly our ghosts drag home". In both cases the metaphors are used to convey bleakness and desperation.

 

2. Both poems use personal pronouns. In 'London' the speaker states "I wander" and in 'Exposure' the speaker states "our brains ache". Both poems use personal pronouns to convey isolation and separation.

CORRECT ANSWER
1
EDDIE SAYS
Answer one is correct! Look at the way that both poems use metaphors to convey bleakness and desperation. Metaphors are important, because they compare by stating that something is, not like. By saying that something is something else, we get the sense of entrapment, as if there's no way out of the bleak comparison.
  • Question 7

How do 'London' and 'War Photographer' use emotive language in their poems? 

 

Write the one correct number in the text box.

 

1. Both 'London' and 'War Photographer' use emotive language to present cruelty. In 'London', language such as "ban" and "manacles" is used. In 'War Photographer' language such as "red" and "softly" is used.

 

2. Both 'London' and 'War Photographer' use emotive language to present pain and sadness. In 'London', Blake uses a semantic field of sadness in the words "cry", "tears" and "woe". In 'War Photographer' Duffy uses a semantic field of sadness in "cries", "tears" and "agonies".

CORRECT ANSWER
2
EDDIE SAYS
If you picked answer two, well done! Both poems use semantic fields, which is when a group of words link to a theme or idea. In the case of the two poems, a semantic field of sadness is used, to gain the reader's sympathies.
  • Question 8

Tick the devices which belong to 'London' and 'My Last Duchess'. Some are shared.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
 Semantic field of deathSemantic field of jealousyPersonal pronounsRhetorical questionsSexual languageReligious imagery
'London'
'My Last Duchess'
EDDIE SAYS
Hopefully, this table will help you revise the differences and similarities. Remember, differences are important, but so are similarities. And if these differences and similarities are expressed through language, structure and even form, then try and find a way to explain how. The simplest explanation will do- start from there and then you can go into detail and start linking language features to themes.
  • Question 9

Name one other poem where, like 'London', there is a semantic field of privilege and prejudice

 

Write the correct poem in the text box below.

 

Hint: privilege is when one group of people have more rights than another group.

 

'Kamikaze'

'Charge of the Light Brigade'

'My Last Duchess'

'Checking Out Me History'

CORRECT ANSWER
Checking Out Me History
EDDIE SAYS
'Checking Out Me History' has this theme of privilege, although it's different to the way that 'London' addresses privilege. In 'Checking', the poet, Agard, is discussing race and the erasure of his people throughout history. Therefore, he uses language such as "bandage" and "blind" to convey a sense of the erasure of his past. There's a hopeful note to the poem, where he writes that he is "checking out" his "own history" and "carving out" his identity in the last stanza. This gives the poem a sense of justice, against years of erasure. On the other hand, 'London' talks about class privilege. Language such as "manacles" and "ban" gives a similar feeling to 'Checking'- the poet is talking about the confinement of the lower-class. Both poems have this shared semantic field of privilege and prejudice. But 'Checking' is a more hopeful poem, which is fighting back against years of racial prejudice. 'London' seems more bleak and hopeless.
  • Question 10

Last one! A little bit easier this time.

 

 

Tick three language devices which link 'London' and 'Ozymandias'.

CORRECT ANSWER
Sibilance
Metaphor
Personal pronouns
EDDIE SAYS
Both poems share a range of language devices. Think about how these language devices show similar/different themes. Well done, poetry champion! That's another activity done!
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