“The Sick Rose”
I) The Sick Rose written by William Blake, and published in Songs of Experience in 1794. II) The speaker addresses a rose that is sick. During a dark, stormy night, a worm that cannot be seen flies through the sky. There is a “dark secret love” about the worm that is destroying the rose’s life. III) The poem is told in the second person point of view. The speaker directly addresses rose, “O Rose”. Also, Blake uses words such as “thou” and “thy” which are variations of “you” and “your”. The speaker is most likely male because of the way he addresses Rose directly, “O Rose, thou art sick”. There are no specific details about the narrator that describe his race, age, or ethnicity. IV) The tone of The Sick Rose by William Blake is ominous and gruesome. The narrator alerts Rose of her ominous fate at the very start by saying, “thou art sick”. Blake uses diction such as “destroy”, “howling”, and “dark” to cause the mood to be mysterious. The narrator uses the color “crimson” as the adjective for “joy” Crimson can be thought of as the color of blood and even further, death. The “love” mentioned in the poem is not a happy love, but a “dark secret” love. V) William Blake incorporates various symbols in his poem, The Sick Rose. First, the “invisible worm” in line two can be taken as a phallic symbol. “Sick” (line 1) can be interpreted as death, or hopelessness. Lines two and three can be symbolized as rape, or undesired love as the “invisible worm” “flies in the night”. “Of crimson joy” is a symbol of blood or violence. The “dark secret love” in line seven can be taken as an affair or unfaithful love used by Rose, or even her lover. The “howling storm” can be taken literally as a stormy night or figuratively as a night where regretful actions, such as unfaithful love had taken place. Nature is symbolized throughout the poem through “Rose”, “storm”, and “worm”. VI) The poem is broken...
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