The Tyger Essay, Research Paper
Rhythm and the Tyger
The Tyger is one of the most famous works by William Blake. It is a great poem, which clearly shows the reader the way in which poetic devices and sound and rhythm affect the meaning of a poem. William Blake questions the nature of God, and faith. He asks two important rhetorical questions in the poem. Does God create both good and evil? If so what right does God have to do this? The poem is a cycle of questioning the creator of the tyger, discussing how it could have been created, and back to questioning the creator. It is a powerful poem, which leaves the reader with much to ponder.
Blake uses poetic devices in The Tyger to create an effect that emphasizes and parallels the main theme. The main theme of the poem is whether God would create both good and bad things. Blake uses rhythm and meter very well in the poem. Most of the poem is written in trochaic tetrameter. We see this in line 3, What immortal hand or eye. The rhythm is very harsh sounding, exemplifying the nature of the tyger. However, some of the lines were written in iambic tetrameter, such as line 10, Could twist the sinews of thy heart? This rhythm is much softer sounding, representing the gentle nature of God. Blake also uses rhyme to show the two different sides. The rhyme scheme of the poem is AABBCCDD ECT. By using couplets with each rhyming pair in the quatrain being distinctly different, Blake forms two separate categories, which parallel the dichotomy of the poem.
Blake uses several poetic devices, which add greatly to his work in The Tyger. He uses cacophony in line 16, Dare its deadly terrors clasp. This serves to exemplify the rough nature of the Tyger, and leaves us wondering if something else created the Tyger. In addition he uses euphony in line 20, Did he who made the lamb make thee? This soft and gentle sounding line enforces the gentle image of God, and makes us doubt that God created the Tyger. Blake also uses alliteration and assonance. He uses alliteration in the poem to emphasize the nature of the Tyger, such as in line 5, distant deeps. Assonance is used as well to emphasize the greatness of God such as in line 10, twist the sinews. In line 10 Blake uses both Assonance and iambic tetrameter. By making the line smooth sounding and emphasizing the i sound, he increases the importance of God s gentle side.
There are two different sounds in the poem. This is important, as a major theme is the two different natures of God, and the possibility of two creators. At certain parts of the poem, rough angry sounding words are used to emphasize the brute nature of the tyger, while at other parts, smooth sounding words are used to emphasize the gentle nature of God. Blake uses the two opposite sounds of the poem to emphasize the dichotomy of the poem, with the two natures of God, and the two creators. The first and last quatrains are identical except the first words of the last lines of the quatrains have been changed. By changing could with dare Blake states that if God could make the Tyger, then how dare he do so.
The Tyger is a classic poem by William Blake about the natures of God. By switching his rhythm from trochaic to iambic tetrameter, Blake shows the two possible natures of God, or of the creators. By using couplets, he emphasizes the dichotomy of the poem. By using poetic devices he further develops the questions about the natures of God. In the end, Blake never answers his questions, which leaves readers thinking whether there is an answer.