London, 1802 Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 17 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of London, 1802.
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London, 1802 Summary & Study Guide Description

London, 1802 Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on London, 1802 by William Wordsworth.

The version of the poem used to create this study guide appears in: Applebaum, Stanley, editor. English Romantic Poetry: An Anthology. Dover Publications, Inc., 1996. Parenthetical citations within the guide refer to the lines of the poem from which the quotations are taken.

“London, 1802” is a Petrarchan sonnet by the English Romantic writer William Wordsworth. As the title of the poem suggests, the piece was originally composed in 1802 in the city of London, England. Wordsworth is said to have written “London, 1802” upon returning from a trip to Paris, France and witnessing the the societal disparities between the attitudes and behaviors of the cultures of the two cities.

Within its lines, the poet condemns modern-day England for its lack of virtues, identifying every aspect of society as being in need of moral restoration. He calls upon the late writer John Milton to return to England from beyond the grave and remedy the destitute society he witnesses. He praises Milton and his age for their emphasis on manners, virtue, and freedom, but most importantly their sense of humility in spite of their brilliance.

Simultaneously critical and supportive of his own country, Wordsworth uses the poem as a means of affecting change on a societal level. While he details a wide variety of the country’s issues throughout the piece, the fact that he wrote the poem at all means he considered England a country worth saving. While his society may no longer represent the supposed paradise it once was, a return to such glory via a return to moral idealism is still possible.

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This section contains 264 words
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