Analysis of "A Poison Tree" Essay

Analysis of "A Poison Tree" Essay

Length: 1373 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


In his work, Songs of Innocence and Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul, William Blake uses the aforementioned contrasting states of being to illustrate his unique view of the world around him. Through this work, Blake lays bare his soulful views of religion and ethics, daring the reader to continue on in their narcissistic attitudes and self-serving politics. While Blake's work had countless themes, some of the most prevalent were religious reform, social change, and morality. Philosophically, one would think that William Blake was a Deist; however Blake rejected the Deist view of life. He was a devout Christian, yet he also wanted nothing to do with the church or their teachings. These views give Blake a refreshingly sincere quality with regards to his art and writings. Blake frequently alluded to Biblical teachings in his work and, more often than not, used corresponding story lines to rail against the Church's views and accepted practices. One may say however, that Blake's universal appeal lies within his social commentary. Similar to a fable, Blake weaves a poetically mystical journey for the reader, usually culminating in a moral lesson. One such poem, "A Poison Tree," clearly illustrates some of William Blake's moral beliefs. With his use of imagery, as well as an instinctive knowledge of human nature, William Blake shows just how one goes from the light to the darkness (from innocence to experience) by the repression of emotions.

If one were to read the "A Poison Tree" on a strictly superficial level, it would be enough to understand the basic meaning: Speaker is mad at friend. Speaker talks to friend, is all better. Speaker is mad at enemy. Speaker says nothing, anger builds....


... middle of paper ...


...is overall truth and spent his life trying to dispel the conventional wisdom of the Church during that time. In any case, there are many different ways that William Blake's work can be interpreted, and on many different levels. The only one that truly matters is the one that touches the reader. It is what Mr. Blake would have wanted.

Works Cited

Blake, William. "A Poison Tree." The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 2. 7th ed. Ed. M.H. Abrams. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc, 2000. pg.58.

Gleckner, Robert F. The Piper and the Bard: A Study of William Blake. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1959.

Hirsch Jr., E.D. Innocence and Experience: An Introduction to Blake. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964.

Johnson, Mary Lynn and John E. Grant, eds. Blake's Poetry and Designs. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1979.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Analysis of William Blake's A Poison Tree

- In “A Poison Tree,” by William Blake is a central metaphor explains a truth of human nature. The opening stanza sets up everything for the entire poem, from the ending of anger with the “friend,” to the continuing anger with the “foe.” Blake startles the reader with the clarity of the poem, and with metaphors that can apply to many instances of life. Blake also uses several forms of figurative language. He works with a simple AABB rhyme scheme to keep his poem flowing. These ideals allow him to better express himself in terms that a reader can truly understand....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
522 words (1.5 pages)

The Message Behind "A Poison Tree" Essay

- William Blake was a first generation Romantic poet. He lived a long life in which he wrote a copious amount of poetry (Eaves). Blake was also a painter. This aided Blake’s advancing symbolism; he could paint a lovely picture with his words (Eaves). The poem that I have analyzed is A Poison Tree. Blake strategically placed imagery and personification to hide his underlying truth; do not store up anger because horrible situations will arise. At first glance the poem seems hate filled and that he just wrote it out of revenge or angst, but in reality he is teaching a moral lesson that should be taken very seriously....   [tags: Poetry Analysis ]

Strong Essays
1062 words (3 pages)

Essay on A Poison Tree by William Blake

- “Then the Lord God said, “behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”” (New American Standard Bible, Gen. 3:22). The poem “A Poison Tree” by William Blake completes a full circle around the story of the fall of man in the book of Genesis incorporating how the human nature functions. Blake uses metaphors, allusions and diction to tell his views on the subject of human nature and God, and conveys his message more clearly through the rhyme scheme, meter and simplicity of the poem overall....   [tags: Poetry Analysis ]

Strong Essays
2163 words (6.2 pages)

“A Poison Tree”: The Fruit of One’s Saber Essay

- During a period of Romanticism and a strong appreciation for literature, William Blake proved to the literary world that “Imagination is a doorway to the infinite.” Blake was more than just your average poet; he was a creator of beauty. His work came alive through the words and illustrations he hand made and published. Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience are Blake’s two symphonies of words that convey the juxtaposing ideas of human nature. “The Poison Tree” is the perfect representation of the experience aspect of Blake’s work due to the way it pulls the reader to ”disillusionment with human nature and society.” It leaves the reader in awe of the capability of humans and causes us to...   [tags: Poetry Analysis ]

Strong Essays
2306 words (6.6 pages)

Essay on The Poison Within

- On November 28, 1757 in the large bustling town of London, England; James and Catherine Blake welcomed their son William Blake into the world (Paananen xix-xxi). A happy and powerfully imaginative child, William was one of five (Bedard 8-14). Contrary to what his linguistic talents may dictate he received no formal education, due to his parents’ intense religious beliefs and hesitations to branch beyond their sect, in regards to education (Bedard 8-14). William was however taught basic reading and writing skills by his mother (Bedard 8-14)....   [tags: Poetry Analysis]

Strong Essays
1360 words (3.9 pages)

Rhyme, Scheme and Meaning in A Poison Tree Essay

- Rhyme, Scheme and Meaning in A Poison Tree In many cases, poems are very abrupt and awkward sounding when read or spoken aloud. A simple solution to end a poem’s awkwardness is a rhyme scheme. Many poems don’t rhyme for reasons of subject matter but to make the poem more interesting and easier to read the poet uses rhyming words. In many cases, poets use end rhyme, which is using words that rhyme in the end of the phrase or sentence of each sentence. “A Poison Tree” by William Blake is a great example of end rhyme used in poetry....   [tags: Poison Tree Essays]

Free Essays
553 words (1.6 pages)

Explication of William Blake's A Poison Tree Essay

- Explication of William Blake's A Poison Tree   William Blake's "A Poison Tree" (1794) stands as one of his most intriguing poems, memorable for its vengeful feel and sinister act of deceit. This poem appears in his famous work Songs of Innocence and Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul (1794), placed significantly in the "Songs of Experience" section. As with many of his poems, Blake wants to impart a moral lesson here, pointing of course to the experience we gain in our human existence at the cost of our innocence....   [tags: Poison Tree Essays William Blake]

Strong Essays
1042 words (3 pages)

William Blake 's A Poison Tree Essay

- William Blake’s “A Poison Tree” is a vengeful poem that demonstrates the importance of releasing your emotions. The author creates a scenario about an augmenting anger towards an enemy that continually grows, and it eventually grows beyond anger. Throughout the poem, the reader recognizes the hatred toward the adversary. The rage and loathe felt converts to a plot for revenge. He establishes the theme that suppressing your feelings can cause you to make irrational decisions. Blake uses a wide range of literary devices such as symbolism, rhyme scheme, form, imagery, and allusions to establish a moralistic tone in this narrative poem....   [tags: Poetry, Rhyme, Poetic form, Rhyme scheme]

Strong Essays
821 words (2.3 pages)

William Blake 's A Poison Tree Essay example

- “A Poison Tree”: A Growth in Anger William Blake’s “A Poison Tree” takes the reader through the growth process of anger. Blake explores the nature of anger in two situations, one where the speaker is angry with a friend and one where the speaker is angry with an enemy. He uncovers the darker side of the nature of anger and how it can grow into something detrimental, inhumane, and deadly. Along with his use of metaphors and symbolism, Blake’s representation of a bitter, angry atmosphere full of wrath, gives the reader insight into the consequences of hatred....   [tags: Garden of Eden, Paradise Lost, Anger, Adam and Eve]

Strong Essays
818 words (2.3 pages)

An Analysis of Frost's Tree at my Window Essay example

-  An Analysis of Frost's "Tree at my Window"               The poem "Tree at my Window" was written by Robert Frost, an America poet who was born in 1874 and died in 1963 (DiYanni 624). The narrator in this poem appears to be speaking to the "tree at my window"; then, repeating the phrase in reverse order, he calls it the "window tree," as if to emphasize the location and nearness of the tree. Calling the tree a "window tree," might also suggest that this tree is something he sees through, perhaps to some higher truth, to something beyond the mere physical presence of the tree....   [tags: Tree at my Window Essays]

Strong Essays
839 words (2.4 pages)