1)What role does the worm play in the poem ‘The Sick Rose’?  [Annual Exam. = 2020]
Ans. The worm plays a vital role in bringing about the destruction of the rose. The worm is the symbol of a mysterious dark force that destroys the beauty and innocence of the rose. The invisible creature flies in the night of a howling storm. It discovers the rose’s bed and plunders the crimson petals of the flower. The worm’s dark and illicit love made the flower diseased and ultimately ruins its life. Symbolically, the invisible worm stands for the experienced and deceitful male sex that corrupts the life of an innocent and beautiful girl represented the rose.
2) “Has found out thy bed/ Of crimson joy.” – Whom does the word refer to? What did he find and when? What does the ‘expression crimson’ joy suggest? [1+2+2 = 5] [Annual Exam. = 2019]
Ans. The word ‘thy’ refers to the rose.
The invisible worm found out the rose’s bed of crimson petals in the night of the howling storm.
Crimson is the colour of the petals of the rose and joy indicates its pleasure or bliss. So, the expression ‘crimson joy’ suggests the physical pleasure or sensuality of the rose. It also suggests the destruction of its innocence.
3) Bring out the central idea of the poem, ‘The Sick Rose’.  [Annual Exam. = 2015, 2018]
Ans. William Blake’s poem ‘The Sick Rose’ represents the victory of experience over innocence. The poem is full of ambiguity. Outwardly, it recounts the story of an innocent and beautiful rose who is discovered and plundered by an invisible worm flying in a stormy night. But it has a great underlying meaning. The rose symbolizes a beautiful and innocent female sex who is seduced by an experienced and deceitful male sex represented the worm. On the other hand, it may be said that the beautiful objects of nature (like the rose) are always destroyed by the evil forces of decay and death.
4)Justify the title of the poem ‘The Sick Rose’.  [Annual Exam. = 2014]
Ans. The title of the poem highlights how a rose becomes sick and its complete destruction after its sickness. We came to know that an invisible worm flies in the night of howling storm and discovers the rose’s bed of crimson petals. Ultimately, the dark secret love of the worm destroys the life of the rose. The rose loses its glory. It becomes withered. It no longer is a symbol of virginity and innocence. Thus the whole poem centres around the rose and the consequences of its sensuality. So, the title of the poem is justified according to the thematic point of view.
5) What is the allegorical significance of the poem, ‘The Sick Rose’.?  [Annual Exam. = 2017]
Ans. William Blake’s poem ‘The Sick Rose’ is an allegory in the sense of the poet’s visualization of the rose and the worm. Outwardly, it recounts the story of an innocent and beautiful rose who is discovered and plundered by an invisible worm flying in a stormy night. But it has a great underlying meaning. Allegorically, The poem expresses a beautiful and innocent lady who is seduced by an unfaithful and deceitful man. Innocence is destroyed by the experience. On the other hand, it may be said that the beautiful objects of nature are always destroyed by the evil forces of decay, death and degeneration.
6) Comment on the implications of the worm’s love destroying the rose’s life.  [Annual Exam. =2016]
Ans. See the answer to Question no. 1.