Sound Devices and "The Tyger" by William Blake Essay

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Sound Devices and "The Tyger" by William Blake Essay

By | March 2012
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It seems as though everything in nature exists in a balanced state of equilibrium. It is evident that there is an opposing positive and negative relationship to everything in the world; day and night, good and evil, black and white; which leads some to enquire if one portion could exist without the other. This very notion is explored in William Blake’s “The Tyger”, where he develops this idea through language, imagery and poetic devices and through the poem’s exploration of the inseparable forces of good and evil. This poem breathes true of human nature through its use of contrasting agents where the author uses bright imagery and conflicting constants to compare the likes and differences that define our world.

Through Blake’s use of repetition, he carries out a general theme of the positive in life eternally countered by a negative. The good versus evil premise is shown through repetitive questioning by comparing the Tyger’s evil personality to that of the innocent Lamb. However, the repetition most successfully adds a sense of darkness and suspense to the piece. The suspense of learning the answers to the contrasting questions and the increasingly dark imagery intensifies the experience for readers. Blake effectively emits a tone of evil from the Tyger when he questions, “What the hammer? What the chain? / In what furnace was thy brain? / What the anvil? What dread grasp/ Dare its deadly terrors clasp?” (13-16, Blake). The imagery is vivid enough to emit a definite feeling, yet vague enough to maintain a hint of mystery, correlating with the Tygers dark mysterious nature. This frightening nature allows the Tyger to take on an evil persona, leading to the opposite purity and significance of the Lamb.

It is clear that Blake uses couplets to develop a rhyme scheme that distinguishes between good and evil, or in his case, the opposing Tyger and Lamb. The Tyger itself is contrasted through its beautiful colour, striking appearance and savage nature....

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