FIGURE OF SPEECH FOUND IN WILLIAM BLAKE’S “THE SICK ROSE”

July 24, 2008 at 1:50 pm (review on poems)

Figure of speech can be in the form of metonymy, synecdoche, and symbol. Metonymy is characterized by the use of name of things or object related to the real object the writer wants to show. Synecdoche is using a part of thing to represent the whole. Symbol is a word that symbolizes another meaning or message. “The Sick Rose” is a poem which contains figure of speech especially symbols.

“Rose” is usually used to symbolize youth and beauty, but the word “rose” in the first line of the poem seems more symbolizes love which had ever beautifully blossomed, and the word “sick” is a symbol which symbolizes that the love which had ever blossomed was almost died. The phrase “the invisible worm” represents the worthlessness of the love that grew in the secret. “Night” is metonymy that represents the darkness to show that the love was in the secret. “Howling” is a personification of the storm; it is also a metonymy that represents a great sorrow and sadness. The use of word “Howl” adds the sense of sorrow in the poem because “howl” seems stronger than “cry”.

There are also figures of speech in the second stanza such as “bed” in the first line. It is a metonymy which clearly represents a place of rest or a point to end a journey because bed is a place which people sleep on when they feel tired of undergoing their daily life. It seems that the love got tired of holding on. “Crimson joy” symbolizes a very deep happiness and the word “dark” in the third line of second stanza symbolizes a well-hidden secret.

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