tiger by william blake

“The Tiger” Reflection
William Blake seemed like a supernatural poet who thought about the unknown of the universe and pursued to solve them. In his poem “The Tiger”, Blake questions the mentality of this so called “God” to create such a violent and harmful animal after having created a kind and gentle one such as the lamb. To understand the poem I had to fully understand the thoughts of the speaker, in which there is not a clear addressee, considering that the speaker didn’t mention who he or she was. I would assume the addressee is a questioner also known as Blake. He builds on the idea that nature is like a work out art that mirrors its creator’s thoughts and views. As the poem progresses, the tiger becomes the symbolic center for an exploration into the existence of evil in the world. The tiger has substantial beauty with an obvious capability for violent behavior, which is quite unusual in the eyes of the speaker. The author assumes that only a very physically powerful being could be able to make such a creation. There is an idea that the tiger could have been accidentally or chaotically created.

The poem begins with the line “tiger, tiger burning bright” in which the word “tiger” is repeated as though the poet is speaking to the tiger itself to add emphasis. The speaker associates the tiger with fire, which to me reflects the tiger as hell, in which hell is the opposite of heaven. The image in my head is that the speaker is feeling fearful amongst the forest alone. The speaker’s emotions add with the feeling of devouring fire. For the speaker, the tiger may symbolize a destructive fire that he fears and that burning brightness could be a beacon light of the imagination. As the reader, I believe the image of the imagination as a burning lamp filling the world with meaning, which could be confusing at first but I had to dissect the stanza. The metaphor “What immortal hand could frame thy fearful symmetry,” was a line that I felt was most important in understanding the back-story of the speaker. The metaphor helped me understand the theme by understanding the meaning of the words. First, when Blake says “immortal” he is talking about God, and when he says “fearful symmetry,” Blake is expressing how this world is full of ugly unnecessary things like war for instance. We live in a fearful world. This poem, to me, is beautiful not only because of the poems easy going flow, but because it is ironic. I
thought, “what foul things did it take to make the tiger and is our fate really in the hands of one who would create such a thing”, which are the main concerns of the speaker. Blake could ask “why would this happen?’ But I just don’t know. This is why the poem is about how you interpret it. I feel there is this feeling of faith in this “God” for Him to put a predator and prey together on earth. He had to feel it would play a significant part in how the earth would go round. My imagination was stretching as I read the poem over and over again. The creator of this tiger is an imaginative artist in which Blake recognizes His or Her innate divinity.

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