The Tyger is a poem by William Blake in which Blake examines the concept of suffering and how the creator could allow it to occur. This essay will discuss the concept of suffering in God’s universe, using The Tyger as a reference. One of the greatest mysteries of our existence is how God can allow the suffering of innocents. Daily we are bombarded with images of seemingly needless suffering, of children starving to death, diseases, war victims and car accidents. Why does God allow this to take place?
Blake uses the creation of the Tyger as a metaphor for the creation of suffering “What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?” The ‘immortal hand’ clearly refers to the almighty who fashions the ‘fearful symmetry’ of the beast. Blake wonders where in heaven or hell did God find the inspiration to make such a fearsome creature: “In what distant deeps or skies burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare seize the fire?” Having fashioned this fearsome creature, Blake wonders whether God questioned the need for such a fearsome beast that was clearly designed to cause pain and suffering. “When the stars threw down their spears, and water’d heaven with their tears, did he smile his work to see?”
Our universe is a balance between opposites. God created it thus: man and women, love and hate, ocean and desert, light and dark, joy and suffering. The Chinese call this concept yin and yang – you cannot have one without the other. William Blake includes this view in the line “Did he who made the lamb make thee?” Therefore God does not sit back and let the world suffer, rather he makes joy and happiness possible by having its opposite, suffering. God allows suffering because it is necessary to have happiness. Without suffering, happiness cannot exist.
It can be argued that even after creating the yin/yang universe, God tried to spare man the trials of suffering, by creating the Garden of Eden, a sanctuary of pure joy....
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