the sick rose

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“The Death of Rose” The “sick rose” by William Blake conveys view that relate to religion, corruption and sexual repression. Jon Mee believes that William Blake’s poem is about politics and corruption. Meanwhile, N. Cervo believes that his poem is an expression of a religious sin through various descriptive words. In Jon Mee’s The "insidious poison of secret Influence" : A New Historical Context for Blake's "The Sick Rose," he starts out by saying that Blake’s poem “has a powerful sense of corruption going on in contemporary politics “(112). He explains that a rose is a representation of an entire system of government which participates in the republican “discourse on corruption” (116). He also adds that “The Sick Rose” is a “parable of the damaging effects of sexual repression and no less a sign of the times, no less a statement on the corrupt state of the nation” (112). For Mee, this is true because “The Sick Rose” is “the national image identified with the rose of England which is shown to be shattered and corrupt to the point where it [staggers] the edge of [devastating] transformation” (112). Mee considers the poem to be “total and profound vision of the corruptness of contemporary society” (118). Since the worm is endangering the rose, England is endangered by its corruptness. He explains this by saying, “the figure of the rose [shattered] by corruption is another treatment of the rejection of religious belief of the people from their patrimony of English liberty” (120). In conclusion Cervo’s judgment is that England is so corrupt that there’s nothing to do until it “shatters” like the rose. In Cervo’s Blake’s sick rose, he states “The Rose thus signifies not Beauty, or Love or life’s vulnerability but the social crown of life, gallantly achieved by the blessed” (253). He argues that it doesn’t directly relate to corruption, but rather a religious factor.
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