The background which prompted William Blake to write The Poison Tree can be understood from this scenario. Suppose, if you were talking about something and I asked you very rudely to “Shut up”, there are two possible reactions that could be expected from you. Either you’ll get real upset and lash out at me for being so uncouth & disrespectful towards you or you would swallow your pride at that instance, become quiet and cage those feelings of rage within you.
The Write Up of The Poison Tree
These caged feelings of rage would lead to the piling up and accumulation of wrath within your being i.e. deeply bitter fury & vengeance as the outcome of anger. Now keep this scenario in mind because in this very scenario is where the answer lies to why did Blake write A Poison Tree. Initially dubbed as ‘Christian Forbearance’, A Poison Tree delves in to the causes that lead up to the amassing of hypocrisy within the human soul. According to Blake, the human soul arrives in to this mortal world in a complete status of innocence because it is free; not yet obligated to conform to the doctrines of faith, to the man made rules or the social system one lives in.
Symbolism, Meaning and Background Reasons
Once the latter set of events starts to take place, the human soul & spirit starts to feel suppressed. When religious obligations and criteria of social morality start to get slammed upon the human spirit, it chokes the spirit’s ability to carry out acts of goodness and suffocates the love that the human spirit comes filled with because the love does not know how to be restrained by these laws. And these are some of the factors that respond to why did Blake create A Poison Tree. Elaborating further on this concept, Blake makes a direct reference to Adam & Eve’s stay in heaven and the forbiddance to consume from the prohibited Tree of Knowledge. He contests that the God of the Biblical faiths – Judaism & Christianity – was not a deity who had love for his creation (mankind) but rather harbored wrath and resentment towards them.