Understanding "The Tyger." Use citations. Good specificity.

Essay by rico970College, UndergraduateB, April 2004

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The Tyger" is an extraordinary poem that lets us create our own interpretation when we read it. We cannot automatically assume that the title is just a typo as Blake has affirmed elsewhere that every word and every letter is studied and put into its right place. The title reveals that this is not an ordinary poem with an ordinary tiger. It motivates the reader to search for meaning even before he or she begins to read it. The poem contains a lot of imagery as well as rhyme, rhythm, figurative language, and some metaphors. Through all of his techniques, Blake tries to develop the meaning of a tiger and determine who created it.

The poem begins with Blake addressing the tiger and questioning who would create this fearful image. He describes the intensity of the tiger's eyes by stating "the fire of thine eyes." Blake wonders who would twist the sinews for the tiger to have a heart.

He also questions the function of the tiger's brain. Blake was interested to know if the creator of the tiger was proud of his work when he completed it. In the last stanza, he repeats his address to the tiger as in the first stanza. Throughout the poem, Blake only asks questions; he never really answers them. This gives us an opening for our own interpretation.

There are many meanings that can be derived from the text. Is it about a big scary

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tiger? Is it a comparison between a "Tyger and a Lamb?" Is it written to appeal to our sense of fear? Or is it a question of faith and where we came from? Conclusively, it is a little of every question that can be asked. Blake describes the tiger as being fierce and terrifying. It...