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The Tyger Analysis



Author: Poetry of William Blake Type: Poetry Views: 15360

Songs of Experience1789Tyger Tyger. burning bright,

In the forests of the night;

What immortal hand or eye.

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?In what distant deeps or skies.

Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand, dare seize the fire?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?What the hammer? what the chain,

In what furnace was thy brain?

What the anvil? what dread grasp.

Dare its deadly terrors clasp?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?Tyger Tyger burning bright,

In the forests of the night:

What immortal hand or eye,

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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I read the poem as a rhetorical question on the coexistence of good and evil. It asks the question- how can one thing contain such beauty, yet at the same time such horror? By choosing a foreign, \'exotic\' animal known for it\'s elusiveness and capacity for terrible acts, he highlights the mystery in free will, that is, the fact that something can be capable of such horror and malice, yet at the same time be so beautiful. It has elements of the theme appearance versus reality, as well as greek god allusions (as with Haphaestus- the greek god despised for his ugliness who made all the God\'s armour and weaponary- implied in the third stanza).

| Posted on 2012-11-09 | by a guest


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i just wanna someone to help me in extracting the figures of speech from that poem please.

| Posted on 2012-05-29 | by a guest


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In reply to the comments below, Blake is NOT a \'Nature-is-G-d mystic\' although the general conception of Romanticism makes us dub every one of them thus. Blake even wrote a tract called THERE IS NO NATURAL RELIGION, & in his marginalia in William Wordsworth\'s LYRICAL BALLADS he wrote \"There is no such Thing as Natural Piety Because The Natural Man is at Enemity(sic) with God\"& \"Natural Objects always did & now do weaken, deaden & obliterate Imagination in Me\". Blake rather is a spiritual mystic, what he calls a \"Spiritual Man\". However, so complex is Blake, I won\'t be surprised if anybody proves my argument wrong, though I wonder how.
Secondly, the Tyger IS symmetrical. The whole paradox of \"fearful symmetry\" is central to the poem. Blake tells us to stretch our imagination to conceive this paradox.
Thirdly, the Tyger is NOT evil, and I\'m surprised by the number of people who think so. For me the Tyger means Energy, and, in his THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL, Blake tells \"Energy is Eternal Delight\". It has nothing to do with good or bad, it is, and the fact that we start thinking whether the Tyger is good or bad simply shows that \"Urizen\" still hovers above our head.
If anything, the Tyger is so-called good as it refers to Christ the Tiger, the counter-part of Christ the Lamb.And, the fact that Blake is talking in question marks does not at all mean that he is clueless. THE TYGER is more like a puzzle, Blake is wrecking our heads with his questions. The shift from the \"Could\" in 1st stanza to \"Dare\" in the 6th means that he is no more asking about \"what\" or \"how\" but simply exclaiming at this sublime creation and its Maker.

| Posted on 2012-01-21 | by a guest


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In reply to the comments below, Blake is NOT a \'Nature-is-G-d mystic\' although the general conception of Romanticism makes us dub every one of them thus. Blake even wrote a tract called THERE IS NO NATURAL RELIGION, & in his marginalia in William Wordsworth\'s LYRICAL BALLADS he wrote \"There is no such Thing as Natural Piety Because The Natural Man is at Enemity(sic) with God\"& \"Natural Objects always did & now do weaken, deaden & obliterate Imagination in Me\". Blake rather is a spiritual mystic, what he calls a \"Spiritual Man\". However, so complex is Blake, I won\'t be surprised if anybody proves my argument wrong, though I wonder how.
Secondly, the Tyger IS symmetrical. The whole paradox of \"fearful symmetry\" is central to the poem. Blake tells us to stretch our imagination to conceive this paradox.
Thirdly, the Tyger is NOT evil, and I\'m surprised by the number of people who think so. For me the Tyger means Energy, and, in his THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL, Blake tells \"Energy is Eternal Delight\". It has nothing to do with good or bad, it is, and the fact that we start thinking whether the Tyger is good or bad simply shows that \"Urizen\" still hovers above our head.
If anything, the Tyger is so-called good as it refers to Christ the Tiger, the counter-part of Christ the Lamb.And, the fact that Blake is talking in question marks does not at all mean that he is clueless. THE TYGER is more like a puzzle, Blake is wrecking our heads with his questions. The shift from the \"Could\" in 1st stanza to \"Dare\" in the 6th means that he is no more asking about \"what\" or \"how\" but simply exclaiming at this sublime creation and its Maker.

| Posted on 2012-01-21 | by a guest


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To the guy or girl saying it was a joke based on Twinkle Twinkle:
Twinkle Twinkle was published in 1806. I\'ll let you find out when Tiger Tiger was written.

| Posted on 2011-07-06 | by a guest


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Remember this by Blake:
And did those feet in ancient time.
Walk upon England\'s mountains green:
And was the holy LAMB of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
I see a Blake as a Nature-is-G-d
mystic. I see him as looking down from a high place at night, looking over a valley in which he can see furnaces and smelting places and unnatural light shining/burning from between dark stacks and rectangular structures: like a forest (but you can only see it when silhouetted by night...a sight never seen before the industrial revolution)... Bars of yellow-orange light between bars of dark: a striped effect. Burning bright.
And Tigers are not symmetrical, not at all. Nature isn\'t either, generally. Man-made structures are.
So in the same way that he wondered whether Jesus ever set foot on his beloved green England, here he contemplates where the fearful new creation has come from. He is asking questions all the way through that suggest concern.

| Posted on 2011-07-06 | by a guest


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for me the switch from \"what immortal hand or eye COULD frame thy fearful symmetry?\" (1st stanza) to \"what immortal hand or eye DARE frame\" ... opens the poem to me. there is an evolution in his thinking the occurs as he considers the tyger ... that ends with an awareness of the audacity of creation. And at the same time Blake is framing the fearful symmetry so he is discovering his own audacity in creating ... and he is saying that this is what immortality is: our ability to create.

| Posted on 2011-06-27 | by a guest


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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?
When the machinery of nature draws to a halt and the universe returns to its heavenly state, will God judge those lifeforms that acted in a way we perceive as evil? Or will he simply smile in the knowledge that no creature really had a choice, that everything was just acting out its role in the great pattern of existence?

| Posted on 2011-06-07 | by a guest


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im not sure,does he mean the tiger is the devil and the lamb is jesus

| Posted on 2011-06-05 | by a guest


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First, this interpretation presupposes that \"Tyger\" is a reaction to the Industrial Revolution.
\"Did he who made the lamb make thee?\" By asking the question, Blake calls the obvious answer into question. In \"The Lamb,\" it is quite obvious that the lamb was created by G-d, specifically Jesus. Blake could have simply said \"He who made the lamb made thee.\" He, however, calls it into question.
While \"The Lamb\" rhymes so perfectly, with \"thee\" rhyming with \"thee\" (how could it get more perfect in rhyme?), \"Tyger\" rhymes \"symmetry\" with \"eye,\" a terribly imperfect rhyme.
So who is it? Man. Man made the \"tyger\" which is a factory. \"The forest of the night\" is the city, in which the factory burns. Finally, looking at the \"furnace,\" \"anvil,\" \"hammer,\" etc. the imagery is all that of machinery.
Thus, the lamb, made by G-d (or Jesus) is a traditional, creative and nurturing force of the fields: an animal which need not die in order to help everyone. On the other hand, the tiger is made by man: the new, destructive force of the Industrial Revolution. So, the lamb is Jesus while the tiger is man.

| Posted on 2011-05-24 | by a guest


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\"William Blake was joking. If he wasn't why did he write the poem to suit the song "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'? He also wrote at a time when people were determining whether God was a friendly one or one to fear like a lamb to a tiger. Personally I believe he was an atheist which after all were also created by God just as He stupidly created the DEvil and a bunch of talking animals in the Bible. But that's another opportunity for songs and poetry.
| Posted on 2011-04-06 | by a guest\"
Could frame thy fearful symmetry doesn\'t go to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.... and just because the rhyme scheme of four stanzas is the popular AABB variartion and goes along to the song doesn\'t mean it was a joke- but good input, it\'s nice to hear others with strong opinions.

| Posted on 2011-05-24 | by a guest


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Seeing that Blake has been obsessed with religion and God since a young age, I think he meant this poem in all honesty- asking if it was God or Satan who created such a beautiful creature filled with malice. If it was God, then what kind of God would make something so harshly brutal but strikingly perfect. \"on what wings\" wings of an angel sent by God or those of a dragon from hell? the comparison of heaven and hell can be picked up easily throughout the poem.

| Posted on 2011-05-24 | by a guest


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Question: was it God or Other. Is it Good or Evil? We feel a moral imperative to assign. Please check out \'The Moral Landscape,\' or easier, \'The Moral Animal,\' and \'The Social Animal\', all differing authors. Seek on...! :)

| Posted on 2011-05-23 | by a guest


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Tyger, Tyger is a poem about many things. I personally do not believe the poem to be blake asking how god could create such evil. I think the author was comparing the vast differences in all life. The tiger is wild, strong and deadly due to it\'s need to survive where it lives. The lamb is small, docile, captive and weak due to man using and protecting it for so long. We all have a wild side and we all have a docile side, depending on our needs at the moment we can be both at once or none. God created all things equally. If the roles were reversed and the tiger was the weaker animal and the lamb was the one that needed to protect itself can you say with certainty that the lamb would be any less ferocious than the tiger. If man had chosen to use tiger hair for clothing and tiger meat to eat, and the lamb was the one that had to become a predator to survive this poem may never have been written or if it was it would have been a drastic change from what we know it as today. That again is another point of discussion, as to whether if these animals had evolved through other means from what we know them to be would the writer have ever written this poem or would the poem be of such drastic difference so as to still be a topic of discussion today or just another line in an old book that noone remembers. What do you think? The Phoenix

| Posted on 2011-05-17 | by a guest


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Tyger, Tyger is such a short peom with so many meanings. Did God creat evil? How could God that embodies good creat evil? These questions pop up in many peoples mines when they read this poem, but differnt question occured in mine. I wondered what is evil. Did God create it? Through much thought I have come to the conclusion that God didn\'t creat evil. Evil exist, and God made everything, but I don\'t believe God made evil. I believe evil is infact the absence of God. Just as darkness is the absence of light, so is evilness the absence of God.

| Posted on 2011-05-15 | by a guest


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evil was made by god to test us and to see if we can endure it and still have belief. yeah, it might seem like a horrible, evil, unnecessary thing but without evil we wont even know what good is.

| Posted on 2011-05-05 | by a guest


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4 me i think that willam blake was a crazy person...both la mb a nd tiger are are creatures of God..God created both evil and good.because if life has only the good or even the e vil,then it won\'t be suitible to be lived...God is so wise...We can only believe in him and pray for him...

| Posted on 2011-04-21 | by a guest


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William Blake was joking. If he wasn\'t why did he write the poem to suit the song \"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star\'? He also wrote at a time when people were determining whether God was a friendly one or one to fear like a lamb to a tiger. Personally I believe he was an atheist which after all were also created by God just as He stupidly created the DEvil and a bunch of talking animals in the Bible. But that\'s another opportunity for songs and poetry.

| Posted on 2011-04-06 | by a guest


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You people need to learn right from wrong this dude was very clever to write a poem like this and I think people should just enjoy and not crtisize seriously I wish I was a poet like him.

| Posted on 2011-03-31 | by a guest


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this poem is a beatiful piece of art. i think that blake wrote this to explain to us all how god created something so amazingly beautiful yet terrifying (the tiger), but also something so innocent and vulnerable as the lamb, and how evil exsists among good.

| Posted on 2011-03-12 | by a guest


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all i know is that tigers and lambs are stupid and me and your mother had a great time last night

| Posted on 2011-03-02 | by a guest


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i feel Blake is actually asking the question of how can God create evil if he loves all.

| Posted on 2011-02-24 | by a guest


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the reason why it is tyger and not tiger is because tyger is old English not because it is a metaphor,but tyger tyger is supposed to be a metaphor the first to words of the poem

| Posted on 2011-02-13 | by a guest


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The Doors got their name from the Aldous Huxley writing \"The Doors of Perception,\" not from Blake\'s Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

| Posted on 2011-02-11 | by a guest


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compare and see the difference with nido portified ahah

| Posted on 2011-01-31 | by a guest


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theme of the poem: Existence to evil
Mainly discussed topics in the poem: Evil, Innocence,God
Tyger symbolizes: Violence, Evil, Fearful, Terror
Lamb symbolizes: Innocence, Purity, Peace

| Posted on 2011-01-25 | by a guest


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The main question of the poem is (I believe): If God created both the lamb and the tiger is he kind? Blake is questioning the character of God.

| Posted on 2011-01-20 | by a guest


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I believe the tiger and lamb are metaphors for characteristics of humanity. With the human race being superior to all other creatures (supposedly)How is it that we have those that are as preferred \"lamb like\" and others that are feared as much as the tiger? What was he(she)thinking? Why did you make us capable of being so devastating and carnivorous?
thats my two cents - Chad

| Posted on 2011-01-13 | by a guest


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This poem is very similar to one of the poems from my home-land. It roughly translates to