Ask Sawal

Discussion Forum
Notification Icon1
Write Answer Icon
Add Question Icon

What is william blake's the tyger about?

2 Answer(s) Available
Answer # 1 #

"The Tyger" is a poem by the English poet William Blake, published in 1794 as part of his Songs of Experience collection and rising to prominence in the romantic period. The poem is one of the most anthologised in the English literary canon, and has been the subject of both literary criticism and many adaptations, including various musical versions. The poem explores and questions Christian religious paradigms prevalent in late 18th century and early 19th century England, discussing God's intention and motivation for creating both the tiger and The Lamb.

The Songs of Experience was published in 1794 as a follow up to Blake's 1789 Songs of Innocence. The two books were published together under the merged title Songs of Innocence and of Experience, showing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul: the author and printer, W. Blake featuring 54 plates. The illustrations are arranged differently in some copies, while a number of poems were moved from Songs of Innocence to Songs of Experience. Blake continued to print the work throughout his life. Of the copies of the original collection, only 28 published during his life are known to exist, with an additional 16 published posthumously. Only five of the poems from Songs of Experience appeared individually before 1839.

"The Tyger" is six stanzas in length, each stanza being four lines long. Most of the poem follows the metrical pattern of its first line and can be read as trochaic tetrameter catalectic. A number of lines, such as line four in the first stanza, fall into iambic tetrameter.

The poem is structured around core 'religious' and Christian-centric questions by the persona concerning 'the creature' including the phrase "Who made thee?". These questions use the repetition of alliteration ("frame" and "fearful") combined with imagery (burning, fire, eyes) to frame the arc of the poem.

The first stanza opens the poem with a central line of questioning stating "What immortal hand or eye, / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?". This direct address to the creature serves as a foundation for the poem's contemplative style as "the Tyger" cannot provide the persona with a satisfactory answer. The second stanza questions "the Tyger" about where he was created, while the third stanza sees the focus move from the tiger, the creation, to the creator. The fourth stanza questions what tools were used in the tiger's creation. In the fifth stanza, the narrator wonders how the creator reacted to "the Tyger", and questions who created the creature. Finally, the sixth stanza is identical to the poem's first stanza but rephrases the last line, altering its meaning. Rather than question who or what "could" create "the Tyger", the speaker wonders who "dares".

"The Tyger" is the sister poem to "The Lamb" (from "Songs of Innocence"), a reflection of similar ideas from a different perspective, with "The Lamb" bringing attention to innocence. In "The Tyger", there is a duality between beauty and ferocity, with Blake suggesting that understanding one requires an understanding of the other.

The "Songs of Experience" were written as contrary to the "Songs of Innocence" – a recurring theme in Blake's philosophy and work. Blake argues that humankind's struggles have their origin in the contrasting nature of concepts. Truth, his poetry demonstrates, lays in comprehending the contradictions between innocence and experience. To Blake, experience is not the face of evil but rather another component of existence. Rather than believing in war between good and evil or heaven and hell, Blake thought each man must first see and then resolve the contraries of existence and life. According to Kazin, in "The Tyger" he presents a poem of "triumphant human awareness" and "a hymn to pure being".

Blake's original tunes for his poems have been lost in time, but many artists have tried to create their own versions of the tunes.

Bob Dylan also refers to Blake's poem in "Roll on John" (2012).

Five Iron Frenzy uses two lines of the poem in "Every New Day" on Our Newest Album Ever! (1997).

Teach Kumar
Answer # 2 #

The poem explores and questions Christian religious paradigms prevalent in late 18th century and early 19th century England, discussing God's intention and motivation for creating both the tiger and The Lamb . Copy A of Blake's original printing of The Tyger, 1794.

eesgxps Mallya