A Divine Image: Rhyme and Rhythm

Topics: Poetry, Rhyme, Syllable Pages: 3 (831 words) Published: October 8, 1999
In "A Divine Image", Blake uses several techniques and literary devices, to transmit his thoughts about social injustice, cruelty and human nature, Rhyme and rhythm are two of the main features in this poem this poem is the rhythm affect the whole mood, tone and meaning of the poem. The poet has chosen different methods to give the poem specific sounds that affect the pace and structure of the rhythm.

The structure of the first stanza helps us understand the relationships between the four aspects of human nature presented, cruelty, jealousy, terror and secrecy. The first and third lines start with the main word, while in the second and fourth ones the words come preceded by the word "And". This makes the reader connect cruelty with terror and jealousy with secrecy automatically. We can notice that the stress of the lines in this first stanza falls onto the main word, giving an emphasizing effect. Unlike many other Blake poems, such as "The Tyger" or "The Lamb" we cannot find rhyming couplets in this stanza, but the rhyming and stressing effect is enough for the reader to tie the ideas together. This effect is strengthened by the repetition of the word "human" in every line and the repetition of the "y" ending sounds in lines one, two and four.

The structure of the second stanza differs from the structure of the first one. We notice that each of the lines provide an "answer" in a "symmetrical" way to each one in the first stanza. This structure can also be found in "The Lamb". This gives the impression to the reader that the poem is a closed circle, ending were it started. On a deeper level, this way of structuring can represent the inflexibility and stiffness of these negative human aspects, like immovable objects buried deep inside human nature. We can see that the most outstanding rhythmical feature of this stanza is foregrounding. In fact, every line of the poem has the word "human" in it. This excessive repetitiveness, together with the...
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