Analysis of “The Tyger”

In “The Tyger” William Blake ponders the creation and existence of a metaphorical Tiger. Through several rhetorical questions and illustrious details Blake wonders who created “The Tyger”, and if the same person also created the lamb. Blake uses “The Tyger” to symbolize evil in the world, and to question the creator’s intentions with it. “The Tyger” is composed of six stanzas, which consists of four-seven word lines; the lines are short and contain about seven syllables for the most part; and each stanza is exactly four lines in length. The identical length of the stanzas and the AABB rhyme scheme give the poem a nice flowing rhythm.

The rhythm along with the short length of the lines, allow the reader to skim right through the poem. Blake makes the poem with a neat and concise structure in order to make the poem more profound, and to reiterate his initial question about the creation of “The Tyger”. Blake uses several cases of alliteration in the poem, with harsh sounds. The alliteration puts emphasis on certain adjectives, which pop out at the reader and grab their attention. Blake say “burning bright” and “distant deeps” which are both examples of his use of harsh sounding alliteration.

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Blake brings emphasis to the word “burning” and repeats this alliteration, because it helps reveal what the “Tyger” symbolizes. He also brings emphasis to the expansiveness of the universe when he says “distant deeps. ” The words distant and deep both relate to size and begin with a harsh “d” sound. Blake does this in order to highlight the unknown place from which the “tiger” came from. Blake implements the use of several rhetorical devices in “The Tyger” such as rhetorical questions, metaphors, and personification; he also describes the “tyger” with vivid imagery.

Every stanza of the poem has at least one rhetorical question, and Blake uses these to question the superb nature of the “tyger’s” creator. Blake says “What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry? ” which gets the reader to start thinking about who created it. Blake says “what the hammer? what the chain? ” which is a metaphor because hammers and chains are both tools of creation. Blake also uses heavy personification. Blake says “immortal hand” in which he is referring to god. He also says “dread hand” and “dread feet” which refers to some evil force.

In “The Tyger” Blake is questioning the existence of evil, and wonders what the creator is like if they could come up with something like the “tiger”. Blake’s message in the poem is to express the lack of knowledge about our creator and the presence of evil. He wonders if the same person that created the “lamb”, jesus, created evil. Blake tries to procure as to why god, who is supposedly pure and holy, would create something as wicked and frightening as the “tyger”. The first and last stanza’s of the poem are identical with the exception of one word.

Blake uses the word “dare” in the last stanza to bring more fear to the “tyger”. Blake compares the frightening characteristics of a tiger to evil in his poem ‘The Tyger”. Blake expresses the meaning of the “tyger” through his harsh sounds and alliteration; the concise neat structure; and the figures of speech. Blake poses the philosophical question about why god created so much evil in the world, and admires his power. Blake expresses humanities lack of knowledge about the creator and makes the reader wonder what he is really like.

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