A Critical Analysis of William Blake's ''A Poison Tree'' and Blakian Stance on Repression

Behrouz Aftabi Gilvan


  • The poetry of William Blake, the radical poet, painter and thinker of 18th century Britain, bristles with signs of a sublimated, divine mind. This is in the poet's immaterial disenthrallment from the concrete world and in his assimilation of divine inspirations as sources of true reality that we find purity of a great soul projected in forms of poetry and painting. William Blake's poetry was only recognised in the poetic establishment after the author's death, for his revolutionary ideas perhaps flew in the face of the conventions of the society heavily influenced by tradition and religion. Though simple and seemingly childish in form, they accommodate highly elevated ideas about the other psychological dimension of man, the world of imagination, divinity and inspiration. In this short essay, I have endeavored to bring into light, through adducing biographical evidence and availing myself of psychoanalytic theories of recent times, Blake's attitude towards repression, which he has delineated exquisitely in his poem A Poison Tree, a metaphorical delineation of what happens when one ignores, or suppresses the feeling of wrath within, and how such incipient anger can develop into an oedema of most intense  demeanour of deceit and hypocrisy that will ultimately cause the  fall of man.


repression; William Blake; wrath; anger; vice, virtue

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