William Blake was known to be a mystic

William Blake was known to be a mystic poet
who was curious about the unknowns in the world, and strived to find all the
answers.  Does God create both
good-natured and fearful creatures?  As a
question answered in the poem “The Tyger” William Blake pondered on why an
all-powerful, loving God would create a vicious predator, the Tyger, after he
created a sweet, timid, harmless animal, the lamb.  The theme of this poem surrounds this idea of
why the same creator would create both a destructive and gentle animal.  This issue is brought up and discussed
through rhyme, repetition, allusion, and symbolism.

            The poem opens up with the words, “Tyger Tyger, burning bright,” Blake says “Tyger” twice to make it seem to the reader that he
is speaking directly to the tiger and it sets up the theme of the night along
with which comes darkness and evil.  Used
as comparison to the Tyger, the words “Burning bright” compare the Tyger to fire.  Both of which are harmful, strong, wild,
forceful, and destructive.  In a way,
they also resemble each other in looks, as a Tyger in the dark, looks like a
fire because of its orange stripes.  In
the third and fourth stanza, Blake asks the first unanswered question, what
creator has the ability to make something with such “fearful
symmetry”
(4)?  The second stanza asks the same question
but in a completely different way, wondering where Tyger came from.  In lines 10 and 20, Blake asks two
questions.  These questions are different
from the rest, he asks, “Did he smile his work to see? /Did he who
made the lamb make thee?” (19,20) Blake uses these lines to ask if
the creator was happy with his work of such a destructive soul, Blake also asks
if the creator of the lamb was also the creator of the Tyger.  Many may look at this last question as if
Blake was trying to connect the evil Tyger with the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.  The last lines in the poem ask the same
question as the first, who could and who would create the Tyger. 

            Rhyme is found all throughout
the poem and has a huge effect on the reader. 
Blake used rhyme and detail to create some more wicked thoughts of the
Tyger in the reader’s mind.  Each stanza is made up of two couplets.  Because these couplets keep a steady going
rhyme, we the reader can imagine the Tyger’s
heartbeat, beating as we say the words as Blake intended the to be read.  Repetition plays a key role, as it gives the
reader a first look as to what Blake considers prime information.  For example, the word “dread” is
repeated many times all around the poem, particularly in lines 12 and 15.  Because this word is used many times in the
poem, it draws the reader’s
attention and contributes even more to the image of the Tyger in the readers
mind. The first and last stanzas form an introduction and conclusion.  The differences between these lines get the
reader’s attention and points out
significant ideas that lead up to the meaning of the poem.  There was a change in words in the last
stanza, “dare” was put instead of “could.”  This changes the speaker’s intention so he’s not asking who could create the Tyger, but
what God would create destructive animal, knowing its strengths and al the
damage it can create.

 Allusion
is also an important part of this poem because of the way the author uses it to
connect to the outside works that may also encourage the reader to think in a
certain way that goes along with the themes of the poem.  The first allusion, found in lines 7 and 8,
are to the Greek gods Icarus and Prometheus. 
This allusion requires the readers to think about gods and religion,
which is a major part of the theme of this poem.  Another allusion I see is in line 20, which
refers to another one of Blake’s poems, “The Lamb.”  This allusion is significant because the
speaker asks, “Did he
who made the Lamb make thee?”
(20)  And he wonders whether or not the
same creator who made something so gentle and pure could also make such an evil
animal.  The allusion itself brings the
reader to think about the other poems and to contrast the two completely
different messages. 

 

The significance
in “The Tyger” is powerful and allows the reader to find the
deeper meaning in the poem.  The Tyger
stands for darkness and evil, and on the other hand, the lamb is the exact
opposite.  The mention of the blacksmith
in lines 13-16 symbolize the creator or God. 
This representation has a big effect on the poem because it makes the
poem about something more than just the animals and creation, but about the
debate of God creating something evil. Even with so many literary devices used
to enhance the reader’s understanding,
the final question still left the readers questioning: did the same God create
both the Tyger and the lamb?