Poetry Analysis: "The Tyger"

989 words - 4 pages

William Blake’s 1793 poem “The Tyger” has many interpretations, but its main purpose is to question God as a creator. Its poetic techniques generate a vivid picture that encourages the reader to see the Tyger as a horrifying and terrible being. The speaker addresses the question of whether or not the same God who made the lamb, a gentle creature, could have also formed the Tyger and all its darkness. This issue is addressed through many poetic devices including rhyme, repetition, allusion, and symbolism, all of which show up throughout the poem and are combined to create a strong image of the Tyger and a less than thorough interpretation of its maker.
The first stanza directly addresses ...view middle of the document...

The importance of rhyme is found through evaluating the effect that it has on the reader. All of the rhyme in “The Tyger” is masculine rhyme. Ferociousness is more associated with masculinity than femininity, and this detail helps the speaker to create a more evil being in the reader’s mind. The rhyme scheme also ties the poem together and gives each stanza a common pattern. Each stanza is made up of two couplets, which keeps a steady rhythm when reading the poem and reminds the reader of the Tyger’s heartbeat and the cadence of his motion.
Repetition is another key poetic device used in the poem, and considering its effect on the reader gives insight as to what the speaker may be emphasizing as significant. The word “dread” is repeated several times throughout the poem, specifically in lines 12 and 15. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “feared greatly…dreadful, terrible.” Because this word is used so many times, it draws the reader’s attention and contributes even more to the imagery of the Tyger. The repetition of the first stanza forms a sort of introduction and conclusion. The few differences between them get the reader’s attention and point out significant ideas that go along with the meaning of the poem. The comma in line 21 shows hesitation, and the colon in line 22 commands the attention of the Tyger as the speaker prepares to ask the final question. The one changed word in the last stanza, “dare” instead of “could,” changes the speaker’s intention as he is now not only asking what kind of God could create something so evil, but would.
Allusion is also an important part of “The Tyger” because of the way the speaker uses it to connect to outside works that may encourage the reader to think...

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