Blake’s The Tyger
Tyger by William Blake is a beautifully written poem that brings forth many philosophical questions about the origin of the animal known as a tiger. It was published as part of his collection Songs of Experience and through close reading of the poem, deeper meaning is uncovered behind the literary piece. The poem consists of six quatrains or what is known as four-line stanzas and contains along with that, two couplets or rhyming lines. Throughout the reading of the poem, the poem has dual layers of meaning behind its initial denotation of the origin of a tiger and more towards the origin of Satan.
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The questions to whom created it, where he did it, how he did it, and how the creator felt, illustrates the stream of conscious questioning behind the origin of the devil. Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? The poem goes through a basic order of questioning with the core question of hat immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? This who question seems connotative of the idea of God as the immortal being and Creator of all things.
As a tiger is a nocturnal predator of the night, *urning brightalso also brings forth he imagery of fire and contains consonance. Tigers bring forth imagery of brilliantly orange colored fur and black stripes merged together. This also is a colored illustrations of biblical descriptions of Hell itself. fin the forests of the nightdemonstrate operation in the darkness, something Satan does as well. The duality of meaning in the tiger’s image and biblical allusion to Satan as the central character of the poem start the stream of rhetorical questioning the author has. In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare sieze the fire? The second stanza it asks the question of where fin what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? The location of where Satan was formed is presented when bringing forth the location *istant deeps or skies,and the line also presents alliteration as well. The idea of did Satan come from the depths of hell, or was he formed above where God is located in heaven is presented within these lines. The last two lines of the quatrain once again acts as allusions to both a biblical and mythological origin. inn what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire? oint to Prometheus, a Greek mythological being who stole fire from the gods and gave it to humans in order to progress life. Ultimately he faced severe punishment for his actions. Satan himself can be seen as a Prometheus type character as well. He convinced Adam and Eve to eat of the fruit and was punished for his actions as well. Though he did not seize the fire per say, he did push the first banished for having the pride and avarice to overthrow God. Blake shows such brilliance in the fact that the poem can still be taken on a literal meaning, and as a connotative meaning of biblical origin.
And what shoulder, & what art Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? & what dread feet The third stanza speaks to the power of the Creator who we recognize as God who must be strong to form such a powerful creature as the essential in the construction of things and the beauty of the tiger mandates and artistic mind. ould twist the sinews of thy heartis a very profound line. Dual meaning can be taken within this line as the heart from the spiritual perspective dictates decision making.
If God created Satan, did he create the evil within Satan’s heart and his actions if God as control over all things and Satan is the origin of evil? The second part of the stanza illustrates the power of Satan as the tiger is a powerful creature of dread and strength, so is Satan. As the hand is capable of destroying and creating and feet dictate presence everywhere. This is especially important in the dual meaning, as the tiger itself does not have hands or feet but rather paws. Thus these two lines once again show that Blake is pointing towards a deeper meaning. What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp? The fourth stanza illustrates the metaphor of a blacksmith that God is, ammersand ?±hainsoften being the tool and object blacksmiths create. These questions seem to ask where and how exactly did you create a being like Satan and what were the restraints and form of Satan. Once again repetition of imagery with fire is displayed here as well. Ehat was furnace was thy brainpoint towards the imagery of hell once again but point towards the mind of Satan as well as how did he develop the idea of pride to think he could overthrow God.
When the stars threw down their spears, And watered heaven with their tears, Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? This fifth stanza highlights the downfall of Satan and the other angels that plotted to overtake God. This is seen with the first two lines that talk throwing down spearsand %atered heaven with their tears. As Satan was cast out of God’s presence and the realm of heaven with the other angels were saddened. The second two lines question God’s intent of pleasure or emotion in that His creation deviated so far from Jesus, did he create Satan as well.
This stanza sticks out because this deviates much rom the dual meaning of the tiger, but highlights once again the connotative direction of Satan’s creation. Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? The last stanza remains the same, but the last two lines slightly change in that are’s now the last line’s first word. The qualities of the Oger that presents a duality between beauty, ferocity, and strength of the beast and Satan, The speaker wonders whether why the hand that created Satan created him. A being of evil and power that shines brightly influencing others negatively. Blake does a brilliant Job of showing two meanings behind his poem.