THE TYGER BY WILLIAM BLAKE QUESTIONS ANSWERS
The ‘y’ in the spelling of ‘Tyger’seems to evoke the symbolic quality of the animal. It is also phonetic for it commands one to make the sound more powerful and emphatic than the ‘i’ could have done. It also symbolizes God Himself.
The Tyger is a highly romantic lyric. The characteristic features of a romantic lyric such as sincerity, colourful imagination, subjectivity, mysticism, intensity and simplicity are wellmarked here. The poem has less laboured diction with monosyllabic troichaic rhyming movement. It gives the poem its lyrical quality.
The very title and the subject of the poem – the tiger is itself a symbol. It represents the fierceful spirit that is required to restore the chaotic world by breaking the bonds of experience. Again the burning eyes of the tiger symbolize anger and wrath. Stars in the poem symbolizes rebel angel.
4.”Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night,” – What do ‘burning bright and ‘forests of the night’ suggest?
In the poem “The Tyger” the phrase ‘burning bright’ indicates that tiger, particularly its eyes appears to shine very brightly against the background of the dark recesses of an individual’s soul. ‘Forests of the night’ means the crowded trees of forest that appear very dark during night while symbolically they refer to ‘ignorance, répressing and superstition’ that lie deep down the dark recesses of an individual’s soul.
While the ‘hand’ is required for shaping something, the ‘eye’ is needed for its planning. The hand and the eye are described as “immortal’ as they belong to the Supreme Being and as it is beyond the capacity of ordinary mortals to plan and execute such a beautiful, powerful and fierce animal as tiger
6. “Thy fearful symmetry.” – What is indicated by fearful symmetry? How is it related to the forests of the Nighth?
‘Fearful symmetry’means the tiger is terrible and shapely. It is a wonderful creation of God. Fearful symmetry suggests awful beauty and pervasive evil. Evil and wrath symbolized by the tiger are another manifestation of God. Tiger becomes active when there are oppressions, ignorance and superstition.
7 . “What the hammer? What the chain? In what furnace was thy brain?” – What are the hammer and chain, furnace and anvil ultimately associated with?
The hammer and chain, furnace and anvil are associated with the workshop of an ironsmith. The image is that the blacksmith is heating iron in the furnace, putting it on the anvil and beating it heard with the anvil to give it shape. Similar must have been the process adopted by God to forge the tiger’s brain. Certainly God’s implements were extraordinary.
8. “What dread band? and what dread feet?” – What does the poet suggest here?
The question posed in “The Tyger” suggests the poet’s wonder about the creation of the fearful tiger. When the tiger was slowing coming to life, it began to reflect such power and terror, such wrath and fierceness, that the poet had no doubt that no ordinary human being would be able to come near it. Therefore the poet wanted to know what daring and powerful hand and feet could handle such a beast. The poet’s half-finished questions are indicative of his awe and astonishment .
9. “Did he smile his work to see?” – About whom is the poet asking this question? What work of him is referred to here? How could this work invoke smile on the Creator’s face?
In the poem The Tyger Blake is asking this question about God, the father of all creation.
The work referred to here is His creation of the tiger.
Smile could be invoked on the Creator’s face if He satisfies for the ferocious and cruel nature of the animal whom He has made such.
10 . “Did he who made….make thee?” – What makes the poet to ask this question? What idea of God do you form if he has created both?
The poet William Blake in the poem “The Tyger” expressed his strong desire to know if it is possible for the same Creator to create contrary products at the same time. To make himself knowledgeable Blake asks the above question. God is the creator of both the tiger which is the symbol of fierceness and the lamb which is the symbol of innocence. It is He who can create at the same time two things that sharply contradict each other in nature.
11. “When the stars threw down their spears And watered heaven with their tears.”_Who are the stars? What does the throwing down of their spears’ signify? What does the watering of heaven with their tears mean?
The ‘stars’as referred to in the Book of Job in the Old Testament, refer to the rebel angels who tried to oust God from heaven.
The throwing down of their spears signifies the rebels’ defeat, surrender and cessation of armed hostility.
Their watering of heaven with tears means the rebels’ expression of sorrow and disappointment on account of their defeat.
The poem “The Tyger” seems to be the contemplation of the fact that peacefulness and gentleness and fierce strength remain side by side in this world. Fierce strength symbolized by the tiger exists side by side with the gentleness and peace symbolized by the lamb. Christ is both gentleness and wrath. The tiger symbolizes God as much as the lamb symbolizes Him.
13. Explain the symbolism in “The Tyger”. .
The Tyger is noted for the remarkable use of symbols. The tiger is Blake’s symbol for the fierce forces in the soul which are needed to break the bonds of experience. Some think that the tiger images spiritual revolt backed by uninhibited natural energy, while others take it to represent a burning quality – wrath. ‘Fire’ is also used as a symbol of wrath.
14. ” In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eye?” – What does the poet mean here?
Blake represents the tiger with brilliant shining eyes. There is no similarity in the heavens or in earth to that blowing fire that is in the tiger’s eyes. The poet is the curious to know what volcanic death or skies God went to fatch the fire to make the light of the tiger’s eyes.
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