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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 wor...
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