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The Tyger Essay Research Paper Does god

The Tyger Essay, Research Paper

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?”