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Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802
Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802
by William Wordsworth

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

Petrarchan Sonnet in Iambic Pentameter"Composed Upon Westminster Bridge" is a Petrarchan sonnet, as opposed to a Shakespearian sonnet or a Spenserian sonnet. Petrarch was a famous Italian Renaissan...

Speaker

Though we'd love to be able to say that the speaker is a guy from the Lake District passing through London on the way to France with his sister (see "In a Nutshell"), the poem tells us none of thes...

Setting

Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, wake up early to catch a coach to the port of Dover, where they will cross over to Calais, France. As Dorothy wrote in her journal, the time is around 5 or 6am....

Sound Check

The language in this poem seems to mimic the gesturing of a person pointing out sights: "Look over there! Now look here!" Imagine Wordsworth, stopped on the Westminster Bridge and standing on top o...

What's Up With the Title?

The title tells us nothing about the poem except where and when it was written, and even that date is inaccurate. Most scholars agree that the poem was written on July 31, 1802, not on September 3....

Calling Card

Caption-Like TitlesThe Romantics, a group of poets that includes Wordsworth, characteristically tried to capture the visions and emotions of momentary experiences. An interesting flip-side, though,...

Tough-O-Meter

(3) Base CampThis poem has nothing to hide. It tells you right up front where and when it was written, and what it's about: beauty! Some of the metaphors and similes could trip you up, like how is...

Brain Snacks

Wordsworth grew up in the countryside and didn't see the city until the age of 18 (source).Psalm 104 of the King James Bible praises God as He "who coverest thyself with light as with a garment." S...

Sex Rating

GThere's nothing sexy about Wordsworth's chaste appreciation for his country's capitol.

Shout Outs

London LandmarksThe Tower of London (line 6)St. Paul's Cathedral (line 6)The River Thames (line 12)

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