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Interpretation: "The Tyger"


            
             This poem is from Songs of Experience, so the generally accepted symbolism of it is that the Tyger represents experience and the Lamb innocence. However, other interpretations state that the Tyger represents the sensual and the Lamb the sensuous, another that the Tyger represents, "the Body," and the Lamb, "the Soul." Another interpretation goes so far, as to say, that the Tyger represents the physical world, and the Lamb the spiritual. Either way, this poem celebrates creation and is a deeply religious work. We can see that on a literal level, the "immortal hand or eye" mentioned in the first, and last stanzas is that of God, and thus the stanzas marvel the powerful beauty of the Tyger, and wonder, at its creator. The "he" referred to in the second stanza then becomes the deity, who is also indirectly referred to in the third and fourth stanzas.
             The use of the word "dread" is not used in the sense of dread of a horrible monster, or of failure, but instead of the awe, and fear that is general thought appropriate to the Christian God. This poem also expresses wonder at the fearsome side of God; perhaps is this sense, "dread" is an appropriate word to use. The Tyger is beautiful, but at the same time fierce and terrible, with "fearful symmetry." We can see that the poet wonders at the differences in the creations of God in the line:.
             "Did he who made the Lamb make thee?" .
             The sentiment expressed here is similar to that made by Annie Dullard in her essay "Heaven and Earth in Jest." Blake wonders what kind of creator could make two things so different as a lamb and a tiger. .
             In the last stanza, the first is repeated, with a slight change; "dare" is substituted for "could." Most express that this is not used as a challenge to the deity, but as an adjective of admiration. In analyzing this poem, one must keep in mind, that the varying interpretations are many, and that the ones expressed here are no more "right" than others.


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