Rhythm and the Tyger
“The Tyger” is one of the most famous works by William Blake. It is a great poem, which clearly shows the reader the way in which poetic devices and sound and rhythm affect the meaning of a poem. William Blake questions the nature of God, and faith. He asks two important rhetorical questions in the poem. Does God create both good and evil? If so what right does God have to do this? The poem is a cycle of questioning the creator of the tyger, discussing how it could have been created, and back to questioning the creator. It is a powerful poem, which leaves the reader with much to ponder.
Blake uses poetic devices in “The Tyger” to create an effect that emphasizes and parallels the main theme. The main theme of the poem is whether God would create both good and bad things. Blake uses rhythm and meter very well in the poem. Most of the poem is written in trochaic tetrameter. We see this in line 3, “What immortal hand or eye.” The rhythm is very harsh sounding, exemplifying the nature of the tyger. However, some of the lines were written in iambic tetrameter, such as line 10, “Could twist the sinews of thy heart?” This rhythm is much softer sounding, representing the gentle nature of God. Blake also uses rhyme to show the two different sides. The rhyme scheme of the poem is AABBCCDD ECT. By using couplets with each rhyming pair in the quatrain being distinctly different, Blake forms two separate categories, which parallel the dichotomy of the poem.
Blake uses several poetic devices, which add greatly to his work in “The Tyger.” He uses cacophony in line 16, “Dare its deadly terrors clasp.” This serves to exemplify the rough nature of the Tyger, and leaves us wondering if something else created the Tyger. In addition he uses euphony in line 20, “Did he who made the lamb make thee?” This soft and gentle sounding line enforces the gentle image of God, and makes us doub...