Poem Analysis: The Tyger

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 127
  • Published : March 27, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
William Blake exemplifies the rebellious and questioning spirit of the Romantic age in the various poems he wrote. This rebellious spirit especially exemplified in his most famous poem, “The Tyger,” which was published in a book of poems he wrote entitled Songs of Experience. The poem takes the reader on a journey of faith, questioning god and his nature. By asking a series of rhetorical questions, Blake is forcing the reader to think about the possibility that God is not just the meek and gentle God that a child embraces, but a much more complex being, one that creates and allows both evil and beauty to coexist.

In order to explore the poets uncertainty, it’s important to examine the various images used to describe the tiger. In doing so, one realizes that this beast represents evil. In the first stanza, Blake is not merely looking at an animal and wondering how it was made, but he is using the animal allegorically. Blake speaks directly to the tyger, an animal who lives “in the forests of the night" (2). The fierceness and cunningness of the tiger that lurks in the darkness seeking out its prey is a metaphor that gives the reader a vivid mental picture of who believers call Satan, the enemy of God. Blake does not view the tyger as a dimly burning animal, but as "bright" and full of fire or hell, suggesting that the devil is not a weak being. He questions, "What immortal hand or eye/ Could frame thy fearful symmetry?" (3-4). The word "immortal" is used because it is clear that no human could create the "fearful" creature that has him so intrigued.

Thus, this dark, malevolent creation causes Blake to immediately pose the question of who could create such being. Blake questions the source of this creature by asking the tyger from what “deeps or skies” (5) he came from and who made his “eyes” of “fire” (6). Blake does not have an answer yet but is searching for it. Moreover he asks, "What shoulders and what art,/ Could twist the sinews of thy heart?" (9-10)....
tracking img