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William Blake: The Sick Rose

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William Blake: The Sick Rose 'The sick rose' is a very ambiguous poem and open to several interpretations, Blake uses lots of imagery and effective metaphors. My first impression of the poem was that it's very negative and includes elements of destruction revenge and perhaps even murder. I think the poems about two lovers, one of which cheated on their partner and the other wants revenge. The poem is very contradictory, this is shown in the first line 'O Rose, thou art sick.' A rose usually symbolises beauty, romance and love, it's a very feminine image but then it is said to be sick so we instantly sense something is wrong. ...read more.


Perhaps Blake is trying to say that the rose deserved to be hurt. Because the worm 'Flies in the night.' It indicates that the worm is very fast and efficient and also sneaky because he's going around in the night where he can't be seen and no one is around. Blake creates a very graphic picture and cleverly uses pathetic fallacy. He uses the 'Howling storm' to express the mood and feelings of the worm. I think he is also trying to express the anger the worm may be feeling and is trying to tell us that perhaps he acted on his anger without thinking first. ...read more.


In some respects I believe the poem is about destroying life and how easy it is and how it happens without being noticed and before anything can be done it's too late to make it right. The poem is very much so open to interpretation and there's no right or wrong answer. The rose could be emotionally sick, i.e. some parts of the poem suggest rape. Again a rose symbolises beauty and love but it could be sick because it's been corrupted and its innocence has been taken away from this slimy worm who sleazes around in the night. Its reputation has been destroyed and it might be dying on the inside and feel it's life has been destroyed. ...read more.

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