The Tyger - William Blake
This poem is very different from The Lamb, it’s much more difficult. It’s still musical, but the harmony is nearly disappeared even if there’s a strong rhythm (in fact again there are lots of alliterations). It’s made of 6 stanzas, there are lots of questions asked again referred to the same topic of The Lamb, but in opposition to The Lamb here there’s no answer. The forest of the night mentioned at line 2 is the irrationality, the ignorance, the mystery of being and of the creation. If we look at stanzas 1 and 6 we can see they are perfectly the same, except for one word (“Could” before and then “Dare”); this technique highlights this two words. The good and beautiful characteristic of the Lamb disappeared; the creation is no more a positive one, it happens in “distant deeps of skies” (line 5) and it gives a lot of mystery to the event. The creation is now something violent, physical, this God creates out of fire (line 8) (this recalls Prometheus ho stole a spark to divinities and gave it to men); it’s the fire of creation. In line 9 and 10 we can see some expressions used to amplify the power and the violence of the creation. This God is someone similar to a blacksmith (line 14 to 16), because in his workshop he creates with his terrible power something that anyone else could ore dare create (stanzas 1 and 6). But are this God and the God who made the Lamb the same? The God of the Lamb is the Christian God of the New Testament, the good and positive one, but, belonging to Christian tradition, there’s another good, which is revengeful, violent, negative, the Gog who punishes, the God of wrath and he is the Old Testament one and is the God represented in The Tyger. He creates evil through the tiger, but it’s necessary, because the Good can’t exist without its opposite, evil. It’s the same reason why God created heaven and hell, to show by contrast what heaven is. But what God was it that dared to create such “fearful cemetery”? this is a question without an answer, because it’s something that isn’t in mankind’s possibility to answer. At line 17 and 18 there are two possible interpretations: the first one is that stars, since they’re very bright, are the lights of reason and when evil come, reason can’t do anything, they can just give up fighting, because there’s nothing to understand or explain about evil. The other explanation is that the stars symbolizes the angels; in the Bible Lucifer (which means bringer of light) was the prince of angels and the brightest one, and being this way, he wanted to be like God, so he rebels against him, but he’s too strong and so he’s defeated with his legions and chased in hell. They have now to leave their spears, because there’s only one God and he’s superior to them and everyone. Here again Blake tells about the creation of evil, because the hell were created to be the place where the light of God never shine, to put this angels. But how could God, in his perfection hadn’t knew that this rebellion would have been? And so he did, but he created the angels to create then the hell, and because it’s necessary someone nearly like him, to show he’s the stronger.