April 12, 2006
A Secret Love
In William Blakes poem The Sick Rose, his use of symbolism and personification create different meanings for the reader. Blake uses personification to show the roses beauty and suffering. His extraordinary use of symbolism creates many meanings for the reader. The rose is a symbol of beauty; it is also a beautiful red rose. There are many symbolic meanings of the worm. It represents something damaging the rose. Its literal meaning is a worm consuming a rose. Blakes effective use of symbolism and personification in his poem, The Sick Rose, leaves the choice of interpreting the meanings to the reader.
Blake uses personification to give human characteristics to the rose. The rose alone is beautiful. However, this rose, is sick and dying. Blake uses symbolism to show the deeper importance of the rose and worm. The interpretation of the rose is not only of a beautiful flower, but also as beauty, love, and sensual pleasures of a woman. The worm is a worm demolishing the rose, but it is invisible representing a secret love, and corruption. The worm consumes the rose; the secret lover corrupts the innocence of the woman. Crimson Joy (line 6), can be interpreted many ways. Though on the surface it is merely a beautiful red flower, Blake uses it to represent the brilliant beauty and sensual pleasure of a woman. His effective writing creates multiple meanings for the rose and the worm, which leaves the definitions for the reader to determine.
The rose is a symbol for a woman. It represents the sensual pleasure a woman shares with a man. The rose also represents love and beauty.
Crimson Joy (line 6), represents both the rose and the woman. The sensual pleasures shared between man and woman as well as the all-encompassing love of an affair. The flowerbed is the womans bed. It is also a place to plant flowers. It represents the place the woman and her secret love, make love. Blake uses the rose to represent many things including a woman engulfed with love, through an affair.
The worm is a symbol for the womans secret lover. The worm can also represent death and destruction. The worm penetrates and destroys the rose; the man corrupts the beauty and innocence of the woman. Blake writes, And his dark secret love/ Does thy life destroy (lines 7-8), this describes the worm as a lover and a destroyer of the roses life. The worm however is symbolic for more than an insect consuming a rose; it is the all-consuming, corruption of innocence. The concealed secret love devours the woman. The deceit of the affair causes the love to die. The worm consumes the rose; the secret lover corrupts the innocence of the woman.
Blake uses literal and symbolic meaning throughout the poem, The Sick Rose. The rose and the worm have many meanings. The rose is a symbol for a woman. It represents the sensual pleasure a woman shares with a man and the sensual love and beauty of the woman. The worm is her secret lover, a tool to penetrate and destroy. The worm destroys the rose the man consumes and destroys the woman. Blake also uses personification to show the roses beauty and suffering. Blakes effective use of symbolism and personification in his poem, The Sick Rose, create unlimited possibilities for the readers interpretation.
Blake, William. The Sick Rose. Perrines Literature Structure, Sound, and Sense, Ninth Ed. Thomson, Wadsworth. Boston, Ma. 2006. 737-738.