Reflection in poetry

  1. The speaker is William Blake, who is the poet himself, speaking his thoughts of the world in which he lives, as well as reflecting upon himself and his thoughts throughout the poem. His tone of voice demonstrates he has a forceful, and demanding personality because the majority of the poem is composed of him proposing questions and demanding answers from the "tyger".
  2. The audience is the "tyger" he is referring to in this poem, and this "tyger" is actually a symbol, a representation, of the wondrous, yet so evil and violent, people and occurrences in the world. This "tyger" is referenced as a beautiful, yet deadly and fearful creature, with a twisted heart yet burning will, and a creature of such power, inscrutability and corruption created by the same creator of the pure, innocent lamb.
  3. The poem was written in the Romantic Era, a time when poets were much more about expressing emotions such as fear and awe. This poem was too, expressing the power of fear. This was also at the time of the French Revolution, so this also shows how power can be used to control, destroy, and create fear, like a tiger can do with its powers.
  4. There is not a specific time for this poem, as all these questions he asks could also be asked today, or any other time. Its content is timeless and its content does not display a need for time to alter it or to affect it in any way. However, it's events occurred at night, when Blake could see the glow of the "tyger", the stars and the darkness.
  5. This takes place outside, in the country near the forests, at night, when he sees the darkness and the stars. This is figurative, however, as is the whole poem, to describe the tone and mood of the poem, as well as creating imagery for the main idea.
  6. The central purpose of the poem is to depict the creations of violence and evil that were given great strength and beauty and to understand how these powerful beings were made, yet only to do harm to others.
  7. The theme is to recognize that the god that creates power and will, purity and innocence will also create violence and fear.
  8. The poem was written in a solid and questioning tone. It was achieved my the use of powerful words, while at the same time, a lot of questions. It also achieves a fearful yet powerful tone by using dark and distant words as well as having a regular beat to it.
  9. This poem is a ballad. It is a legend of the "tyger" and it's birth or creation. It does follow a rhyme pattern and tells the story of god's forging of this "tyger". This type of poem, the ballad, if well suited for this purpose because it is long enough to have a gradual felling change, yet short enough to have a strong mood and emotion throughout. It is able to clearly explain the story of the "tyger" and its sybolic meaning, as well as contrast between the two sides, the light and dark.
  10. The speaker, Blake, sees a "tyger" at night, burning brightly in the forest, and tries to think who could make such a creature. His thoughts wandered on to where that "tyger's" fiery spirit could have come from and who would have the bravery to handle that fire. Blake then asks how anyone would want to or be able to put together such a beast. Adding on to that, he compares the creator to a smith and asked the "tyger" what types of incredible tools and unfaltering will would be needed. In the next stanza, Blake tries to get an answer to whether god was happy with this magnificently horrifying animal he creates and how the same creator of the lamb of freedom and righteousness would make a "tyger" of power and desire. Which brings the poem back to the question of what god would 'dare' forge this "tyger".
  11. William Blake is out at night and spots a "tyger" roam the forests in the darkness, and radiating strength and beauty. He asks the "tyger" who could have created such majesty and where its fierceness came from. He then asks about its creator, its god, and what fearlessness he must have had to craft his heart and body. Blake ponders about what a laborious task it must have been for its creator, and whether after the job was finished, was the creator content with his artistic wonder, or regretful for unleashing a monster. Blake was astounded by the intentions of god: to create a keeper of peace and righteousness, the Lamb who represents Jesus, to a creature with an astonishing nature of violence and bloodshed and wonders how he would dare release this creature.
  12. The words for this poem were chosen to be harsh sounding and each word has a dark, forceful meaning to it. One of the most important word changes is subtle, yet has a greater meaning to it, and that is in the last stanza, seemingly repeated, yet the last line's first word was changed to 'dare' rather than 'could'. This signifies the thoughts of the speaker, Blake, changing from being awed to fearing this "tyger". 'Dare' (throughout the whole poem) also signifies how he not only wanted to understand the ability of this creator, but also his willingness to complete this mighty task. "Tyger" itself is a important word, as he changed the word "tiger" to "tyger" to emphasize the greatness and power of the beast.
  13. Imagery is used many times in the poem, and an important one is the image of the blacksmith, forging the "tyger" out of raw materials, using tools of extraordinary strength and having persevering willpower. This forms a whole world, not just an image, as it forms not only the image of the smith, but also the determination, mindset, as well as the steady hammering rhythm, through the well kept beat, and a feeling of tension and heat.
  14. This poem is definitely allegorical, as not only do parts of the poem have allegory, but the poem itself is a symbol of another idea. The part about the blacksmith, a symbol of the Creator or god, is an allegory to the artistic creation of a piece of work, a symbol to god's artistic creation of the earth and all living and non-living things. In this case, it was the creation of the fearful tiger, and just like the smith needed strength in will and tools, god needed strength to form this "tyger". The poem's main character, the "tyger" is a symbol of the spiritual and physical properties of mankind to destroy and to become obsessed with power. This 'evil' is represented by the "tyger" and how or why god would create this malicious property of people is questioned by Blake, through questioning the allegorical "tyger". The stars in the poem are a symbol of the infinite universe, how the universe was not content with the introduction of the "tyger", or the evil in mankind. The lamb to which the "tyger" is compared represents Jesus, which is in turn a symbol of peace and innocence.
  15. The first line of the poem and the second line of stanza two ("Tyger! Tyger! burning bright" 1) and ("Burnt the fire of thine eyes?" 1) are metaphors, both comparing the fierce will and soul of the "tyger" to a burning fire, and showing how the energy within the brightly burning fire is like the energy inside the "tyger". The whole stanza four ("What the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp?" 1) is a metaphor, comparing god creating the "tyger" to the laborious forging of a smith's work. Personification was used in lines one and two of stanza five ("When the stars threw down their spears, And water'd heaven with their tears," 1) as stars could not and cannot throw spears without hands, and represents personifies the universe disapproving of the "tyger". Also the stars cannot water as stars again do not have hands to perform the action of watering.
  16. The last line of stanza five ("Did he who made the Lamb make thee?" 1) is a paradox because it states that the god created the Lamb and the "tyger", yet those are contradicting each other, and he believes god's ideas are contradictory. This paradox has truth, yet emphasizes his point of the "tyger's" violent nature. The first stanza ("Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry?" 1) is a paradox itself, as the radiating brightness and majesty is opposite to the fearfulness if describes in the end. This contradiction shows both side of the "tyger", its look at first glance, and its intention. It puts a contrast on both of them, therefore making each stand out. The third line in the fifth stanza ("Did he smile his work to see?" 1) is an understatement, because an expression of content and satisfaction is not merely a subtle smile, but a clear display of emotion and pride.
  17. The allusion in the poem is the reference to the Lamb, which is a previously written poem by William Blake, in which the Lamb represented Jesus, which is a well recognized symbol of peace, freedom and innocence. This was used to make the contrast between the two creations of god, the innocent Lamb and the fierce, fearful "tyger". It is used to emphasize this contrast by not only using a symbol of opposite qualities, but also referencing a piece of literature of opposite meaning.
  18. Alliteration was used in the first line of stanza two ("In what distant deeps or skies"1) where the 'd' sound in "distant deeps" was repeated for an effect of being disconnected and far apart like the meaning. As well, alliteration was seen in the first lines of the first and last stanzas ("Tyger! Tyger! burning bright"1), with the 'b' sound repeated in "burning bright" to give a sharp, light, glowing feel to the lines. Also, consonance was used in the last line of stanza three ("What dread hand? & what dread feet?" 1) with the hard 'd' sound repeated at the end of the words to emphasize the disbelief and horror through harsh sounding consonants. There were many cases where words were repeated, one being the first line of the first and last stanzas ("Tyger Tyger, burning bright"1), repeating "Tyger" four times to emphasize its importance to the poem, with it being the main character. Repetition was used throughout the poem, repeating the word "what" many times to emphasize the main purpose of questioning what could, would and dared create the "tyger".
  19. The poem is organized into six quatrains, each quatrain having a rhyme scheme of aabb. Altogether, the poem's rhyme scheme is: aabb ccdd eeff gghh iijj aabb. This creates a very regular form and beat to it, and make the poem flow. The poem is linked with a continued question of what created the "tyger" and how it could and dared complete the task. It is also a continued metaphor, comparing the "tyger" to the corrupted and evil living in the world.
  20. The poem is mostly written in trochaic metre with a missing unstressed syllable at the end of each trochaic line for each line to end on a strong beat. Each line of the poem is a has a tetrameter, with four stressed syllables each line, therefore, four feet in each line. This creates a feeling of strength. The meter form is as follows (trochaic meaning a trochaic tetrameter with the last unstressed syllable missing): trochaic, trochaic, trochaic, iambic, trochaic, trochaic, trochaic, trochaic, trochaic, iambic, iambic, trochaic, trochaic, trochaic, trochaic, trochaic, trochaic, iambic, trochaic, iambic, trochaic, trochaic, trochaic, iambic. The poem has a powerful beat meaning many of its phrase endings are endstops and the poem's endlines are in this order (enjambed=EJ and endstop=ES): EJ, ES, EJ, ES, EJ, ES, ES, ES, ES, ES, ES, ES, ES, ES, EJ, ES, ES, ES, ES, ES, EJ, ES, ES, ES. It's rhyme is in the form of aabb for each stanza.
  21. The poem uses a repeated 'd' sound to show the rising darkness as the "tyger" reached completion, as there are less 'd' sounds in words at the beginning of the poem, but increasingly more in each following stanza, excluding the final stanza. This signifies the increasing violence, darkness and corruption as the "tyger" nears completion because the 'd' sound is unpleasant and dark sounding. Also an 'r' sound is repeated in words to represent the "tyger" and the sound of a tiger's roar, which symbolizes power, another aspect of the "tyger".
  22. The poem was written in six stanzas, each consisting of four lines. This gives it a consistent rhyme pattern and consistent flow. There are seven syllables in each trochaic line and eight syllables in each iambic line. This also keeps the line structures consistent, giving the reader an easier read, and a good flow throughout the poem. The poem's flow is interrupted by short phrases, marked by endstops and relatively short stanzas. This give the poem a control over the amount of flow needed in each part, and as the poem becomes more fearful, more endstops are used to give the reader a time to stop and think.
  23. The poem is effective and efficient at explaining its purpose and ideas. The symbols and allusions used related his work to other's works as well as commonly known issues so it establishes a connection with the reader to present its point. The symbol of the "tyger" and the lamb so its theme of god creating innocence and violence was clearly contrasted yet definitely showed that both belonged. Also, it depicted the creating of this majestic violence through the "tyger", which is a creature that shows both properties. Its imagery of the situations of the "tyger" in the making show the effort and effects of it.
  1. This poem expresses strong emotion yet firm base displaying power and strength formed largely from the structure and language used to convey this mood. With the structure, it displays solidity through the rhythm of the solid meter. The rhythmic beating throughout the poem is like the beating of the "tyger's" heart and the rhythmic hammering of the blacksmith. Along with the endstops, his gives the effect of power and strength of the "tyger". The literary devices of word play and comparisons deepen the meaning of the poem and connects the content to commonly known feeling to establish a connection to the reader. The sound devices helps show the meaning by letting the reader hear it throughout the poem, such as the 'r' sound showing the "tyger's" strength and the 'd' sound letting the reader hear the darkness flooding into the poem. The word choice was in an ever darkening state as the choice of words became less gentle and more threatening. Overall, it created a steadily, beat by beat, harsher tone and an overall more frightening mood as the poem went on.
  2. The poem evokes fear and awe in a reader. The intense emotions generate this fear of the "tyger's" fearfulness inside the reader. The awe is from the incredible description of the "tyger", its fierce spirit and the creator's inconceivable task. Much of this effect is due to the sound of the poem, the simple rhythm of each line, the control of flow from line to line, where stops are used to give the reader time to absorb the comparisons and contrasts while some parts carry the reader into the next section, many times, a section of greater awe and fear, and this will give the reader a moment to realize what has just been read.


  1. Barry, James. Themes On The Journey : Reflection In Poetry. Scarborough: Nelson Canada, 1989. Print.
  2. Watkins, Abichal, and Tejvan Pettinger. "Poetry of the Romantics." Poet Seers. Web. 22 Feb. 2010. .
  3. "French Revolution." Encyclopdia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopdia Britannica Online. 24 Feb. 2010 .
  4. "William Blake: The Tyger." Computer Science Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Web. 22 Feb. 2010. .
  5. SparkNotes Editors. "SparkNote on Songs of Innocence and Experience." SparkNotes LLC. 2002. Web. 22 Feb. 2010. .

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