“The Sick Rose” by William Blake (L.A.Q) Long Questions and Answers, Class XI, WBCHSE
The Sick Rose by William Blake Questions and Answers
The Sick Rose LAQ
The Sick Rose Questions and Answers
1. Justify the title of the poem ‘The Sick Rose’.  [Annual Exam. = 2014]
Ans. The title “The Sick Rose” by William Blake is a metaphor for the loss of innocence and beauty in the face of corruption and decay. The “rose” is a symbol of youth, innocence, and beauty, while the adjective “sick” represents the fact that these positive qualities are being threatened or destroyed by some external force. An invisible worm flies in the night of howling storm and discovers the rose’s bed of crimson joy. The worm’s dark secret love destroys the life of the rose. The rose loses her innocence and purity. It no longer is a symbol of virginity and innocence. The rose, which was once full of life and beauty, is now struggling to survive. Blake uses the rose as a symbol of life and youth, emphasizing that even the most beautiful things can fall victim to the forces of time, decay and death. The whole poem centres around the rose and its destruction.
2. Bring out the central idea of the poem, ‘The Sick Rose’.  [Annual Exam. = 2015, 2018]
Ans. The central idea of the poem ‘The Sick Rose’ by William Blake is the destructive force of life and the fragility of beauty and vitality. The poem uses the image of a sick rose to explore the themes of life, death, beauty, and decay, and to remind the reader of the inevitable end of all things. The poem illustrates how innocence is destroyed by experience. The poem depicts that an invisible worm flies in the night and destroys the life of an innocent and beautiful rose. The rose represents and innocent and beautiful girl who is siduced and exploited by and experienced and deceitful man i.e. the worm. On the other hand, it can also be said that all beautiful things of nature are subjected to death and decay.
3. Comment on the implications of the worm’s love destroying the rose’s life.  [Annual Exam. =2016]
What role does the worm play in the poem ‘The Sick Rose’?  [Annual Exam. = 2020]
Ans. In the poem ‘The Sick Rose’, the worm plays a significant role in representing the power of death and destruction. The worm is depicted as the cause of the sickness of the rose, representing the destructive forces of life that ultimately lead to decay and death. The invisible worm flies in the night of a howling storm. It discovers the rose’s bed of crimson joy. The worm invokes the image of biblical serpent. The worm’s dark and secret love destroys the rose’s life. Symbolically, the invisible worm stands for the experienced and deceitful male sex that corrupts the life of an innocent and beautiful girl i.e. the rose. The worm is also a symbol of the destructive and malevolent forces of evil and destruction that exist in the world.
4. What is the allegorical significance of the poem, ‘The Sick Rose’.?  [Annual Exam. = 2017]
Ans. The poem ‘The Sick Rose’ by William Blake has significant allegorical significance, as it uses the image of a sick rose to explore deeper themes and meanings. The poem can be interpreted as an allegory of the human condition, exploring the themes of life, death, beauty, and decay. The rose in the poem represents the beauty and vitality of life, while the worm represents the destructive forces of life that lead to decay and death. The invisible worm flies in the night and it’s dark and secret love destroys the rose’s life. Allegorically, the rose is an innocent and beautiful girl who is destroyed by a deceitful man i.e. the worm. On the other hand, it can also be said that all beautiful things of nature are subjected to death and decay.
5. “Has found out thy bed/ Of crimson joy.” – Whom does the word ‘thy’ refer to? What did he find and when? What does the ‘expression crimson’ joy suggest? [1+2+2 = 5] [Annual Exam. = 2019]
Ans. In William Blake’s “The Sick Rose,” the word ‘thy’refers to the rose, the symbol of innocence and beauty.
The invisible worm found out the rose’s bed of ‘crimson joy’ in the night of a howling storm.
The color ‘crimson’ suggests the vibrant and intense hue of the rose, which symbolizes its beauty and vitality. The word ‘joy’ suggests the happiness and satisfaction that the rose brings to those who admire it. The expression ‘crimson joy’ suggests both sexual pleasure and destruction of innocence. Therefore, it refers to that Joy which is seductive and destructive.
6. What does the worm in the poem “The Sick Rose” symbolise? Why is it invisible? [2+3]
Ans. The worm in the poem ‘The Sick Rose’ by William Blake symbolizes the destructive forces of life, such as decay and death. The worm is often interpreted as a metaphor for the corrupting influence of sin and evil, which can slowly and steadily destroy the beauty and purity of life.
The worm is invisible because it flies in the dark night of howling storm. But symbolically, the worm is described as being invisible, which suggests that the destructive forces of life are often hidden and operate in the background. The worm’s invisibility also emphasizes the idea that the destructive forces of life are often overlooked or ignored, and that their impact is only fully realized when it is too late.
Written by Koushik Kumar Kundu
Koushik Kumar Kundu was among the toppers when he completed his Masters from Vidyasagar University after completing his Bachelors degree with Honours in English Literature from The University of Burdwan. He also completed B.Ed from the University of Burdwan.
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