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FinalEssayShamroe - 1 Danielle Shamroe Professor Campbell...

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Danielle Shamroe Professor Campbell English 1102 April 30, 2009 Blissful Vengeance “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake; therefore, you can watch your enemy self-destruct.” Similarly, William Blake creates a poem that at first glance is a mere 16-line, and straightforward lesson about withholding anger from an enemy. However, through meticulous analysis, the reader is able to conclude that Blake’s poem is a closer look on the themes of revenge and deceit. Critics, Neil Heims and Andrew M. Stauffer offer valuable insight into the morality at stake. In “A Poison Tree,” Blake’s use of specific diction, metaphors, and allegory all help to depict the overall theme that patience while dealing with an enemy will cause the enemy to eventually cause their own downfall. Blake’s use of diction through out the poem helps to illustrate the central theme that if patiently waited for, revenge can be more fulfilling. In “A Poison Tree,” several of the words Blake chooses have dual meaning. For example, Blake introduces the first stanza, and in the third line, the use of the word “foe.” Foe can generally have the denotation that the speaker is merely talking about someone he dislikes; however, foe also has the meaning of being a component in a game or contest. The author’s word choice of foe gives significance that the speaker is referring to his foe as someone who he 1
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constantly competes with. As the poem continues, Blake then uses the word “sunned” to describe the steps he takes to nurture, water, and feed his wrath (l. 7). Sunned has the meaning of glory, or splendor;
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