Untamable Power In The French Revolution

1384 Words 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, …show more content…
His or her goal is to reach as many people as possible via the West Wind, thereby achieving the speaker’s ultimate goal: to be remembered. Blake’s protagonist took a slightly different approach. Since the power the speaker wishes to use is an extension of him/herself, the narrator nourishes his/her anger. And I watered it in …show more content…
Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind,” Blake’s “A Poison Tree,” and A Tale of Two Cities all illustrate how power is not good nor evil, but may be induced to aid in one’s personal pursuits. The French Revolution is a product of the people taking power from the aristocracy before inevitably yielding it to Napoleon. Directionless power is a mine waiting to be tapped by someone forceful enough to guide it, but never control it. Ultimately, control of power is an illusion; it only lasts so long before someone else comes along and wrests it from one’s

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