William Blake’s The Tyger The Tyger Ana Melching 5-8-99 Does god create both gentle and fearful creatures? If he does what right does he have? Both of these rhetorical questions are asked by William Blake in his poem The Tyger. The poem takes the reader on a journey of faith, questioning god and his nature. The poem completes a cycle of questioning the creator of the tyger, discussing how it could have been created, and then returns to questioning the creator again. Both questions about the tyger’s creator are left unanswered. William Blake uses rhythm, rhyme, and poetic devices to create a unique effect and to parallel his theme in his work The Tyger. William Blake’s choice of rhythm is important to his poem The Tyger because it parallels the theme of the poem, that the tyger may have been made by god or another harsher creator.
Most of the poem is written in trochaic tetrameter as can be seen in line three, when Blake says, What immortal hand or eye. This rhythm is very harsh sounding, exemplifying the very nature of the tyger. Some of the lines in the poem were written in iambic tetrameter, such as in line ten, when Blake says, Could twist the sinews of thy heart? . Iambic tetrameter has a much softer sounding beat than does trochaic tetrameter. This implies the gentle nature of god, and if he could create such a beast.
The last word of each quatrain is written in a spondee. This helps to create a unique symmetry and to parallel the fearful symmetry of a tyger. William Blake’s use of rhyme greatly affects his work The Tyger. The entire poem is written in couplets. Couplets contain two lines, paralleling the dichotomy of the poem, that everything has two sides or parts.
The rhyme scheme is AA BB CC etc. Because the rhyming words are so distinguishable from the non-rhyming words, they form two separate categories, which also parallels the dichotomy of the poem. William Blake’s choice of poetic devices greatly affect his work The Tyger. He uses cacophony, which is a rough sounding group of words, to exemplify the brute nature of the tyger and to wonder if it was made in hell by an evil creator. This can be seen in line sixteen when he says, Dare its deadly terrors clasp.
This line sounds unpleasant and harsh to the ears. William Blake uses euphony, which is a smooth sounding group of words, to show the gentle nature of god and to wonder if he created the tyger. This can be seen in line twenty when he says Did he who made the lamb make thee? This line sounds soft and pleasing to the ears. William Blake uses alliteration and assonance to make his words seem harsh or soft. He uses alliteration, which is the repetition of identical consonants to make his words seem harsh as in distant deeps or dare the deadly. This emphasizes the tiger’s rough nature, and questions the nature of it’s creator.
He also uses assonance, which is the repetition of identical vowel sounds, in lines ten and eleven when he says twist the sinews, and began to beat. This emphasizes the good nature of god. William Blake never answers his question about the unknown nature of god. He leaves it up to the reader to decide. By beginning and ending his poem with the same quatrain he asks the question about god creating evil as well as good, again.
By changing one word from could to dare he states that if god truly did create this beast, the tyger, then how dare he. This also helps to give the poem a formal completeness. By switching his rhythm from trochaic to iambic, Blake shows the two possible natures of god, or of the two creators. By using couplets he emphasizes the dichotomy of the poem. By using poetic devices such as euphony, cacophony, assonance, and alliteration he can further develop his question about the nature of god, gentle, or harsh.
His rhetorical questions are left unanswered. By doing this he leaves his readers wondering, Is there really an answer? Bibliography none Poetry Essays.