A Poison Tree By Percy Shelley Essay

1384 Words Aug 24th, 2015 6 Pages
Using untamable power to pursue a goal and the destruction that ensues are motifs present in both the outpouring of creativity expressed in the Romantic period and the culminating events of the French Revolution. Those ideas are clearly present in works such as “Ode to the West Wind” by Percy Shelley, “A Poison Tree” by William Blake, and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. “Ode to the West Wind,” which predates the Revolution by 70 years, is centered around the invocation of a powerful and unrestricted nature deity with a penchant for destruction. “A Poison Tree” was written a while later during the Revolution and tells the story of a person using the strength of his or her anger to destroy an antagonist. Though a fictional retelling, A Tale of Two Cities details the events leading up to and through part of the Revolution itself, using Madame Defarge as the personification of destruction wrought by Revolution. These works show the common motifs that incited and sustained the Revolution through its 10 year span.
During the speaker’s appeal to the West Wind, s/he says “[t]he impulse of thy strength, only less free / Than thou, O Uncontrollable” (“Ode” 46-47) and later calls the Wind “tameless” (“Ode” 56). By describing the West Wind’s strength, i.e. power, as impulsive and free, the speaker projects to the reader an image of untamable power. The speaker also calls the West Wind, which does not have a corporeal form and is therefore only its power, tameless and…

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