Tyger Prosody

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The poem is comprised of six quatrains in rhymed couplets in an AABB pattern which have perfect rhyme with the exception of two couplets that occur in the first and last quatrain which are imperfect rhyme. The unmatched couplets are identical to one another, since the second quatrain is only a repetition of the first with the exception of one word. The unmatched rhyme occurs between the words ‘eye’ and ‘symmetry’ which, though they end in an e sound, do not rhyme perfectly as the other couplets in the poem. All other couplets consist of perfect rhymes such as bright/night (1-2), and aspire/fire (6-8). Each of the rhymed couplets, whether they are perfect or imperfect, are masculine rhymes because they rhyme on a stressed rather than unstressed syllable The meter is regular and rhythmic which perfectly suits its regular structure, in which a string of questions all contribute to the central idea. The poem’s also uses Catalexis in its scansion which is why most of the lines are written in trochaic tetrameter in which the final unaccented syllable at the end of the line is often silent. A few of the quatrain-ending lines have an additional unstressed syllable at the beginning of the line, which converts the meter to iambic tetrameter and places a special emphasis on those lines: William Blake never uses the same rhyming sound twice. Every couplet has a different rhyming sound. The rhyming helps the poem remain euphonious and it allows the reader to enjoy the poem even more. For example: "Tiger! Tiger! Burning bright, in the forest of the night," but if you had, "Tiger! Tiger! Burning brightly, in the forest of the night," it wouldn’t sound as good.

Alliteration in the occurs in lines 1(burning bright), 5(distant deeps), 7(what wings), 11(began to beat), 16(dare its deadly), and 20(he who). The alliteration abounds and helps create a sing-song rhythm. The alliteration is successful because it draws you in to the musical meter and makes the sound stick in...
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