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"The Tyger" By William Blake, An Analisys

527 words - 3 pages

It may be easy to read and remember, but it is not easy to understand. Some of Blake's phrases are strange ("immortal hand"), some are archaic ("thine"), and others are used with different meanings from those we use today ("frame"). Added to this, Blake uses many vivid metaphors, which produce strong images of beauty and power ("...burning bright / In the forests of the night") but which are less obvious in their meaning.The poem is also full of questions - twelve in all. Perhaps Blake intended the poem to be less than easy to understand because he, too, had lots of questions he couldn't answer. The first question hints that this poem is not really ...view middle of the document...

At the end of stanza five, it is easy to imagine the tiger killing the Lamb, and, with the Lamb being given a capital "L" it might refer to the "Lamb of God" or Jesus Christ. Did Blake, who is known to have hated what he saw as God's "natural religion" being misused by the leaders of mankind, mean not a tiger but a man? And that man has somehow destroyed Christ, or at least, what Christ was meant to stand for in the world? Is God crying at what he sees of how His creation ("watered heaven") has been ruined by mankind?Certainly, Blake wrote this poem at a violent time in history, when England had attacked France soon after the French Revolution. This revolution began in the hope of freeing ordinary men from tyranny and the uncontrolled power of kings. It was meant to bring freedom and equality for ordinary people - something close to Blake's own heart. It does seem that there is irony, even sarcasm, in the two questions of stanza five: "Did he smile his work to see? / Did he who made the Lamb make thee?" Perhaps Blake meant "Could he..." when he wrote, "Did he..."?It is not easy to know what Blake really wanted for his readers in this strange and fascinating poem. But what cannot be doubted is power and beauty of the poem. Perhaps Blake just wanted his readers to feel this power and beauty and to ask themselves why our world should contain such opposites as goodness and evil, beauty and ugliness.

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