"The Tyger" and "The Lamb"

Breve analisi in lingua inglese dei due componimenti di William Blake: tematiche, interpretazioni simboliche e stile dell'autore (1 pagine formato doc)

Appunto di nunnaccia
Blake was regarded in his time as very strange, but many of his ideas make sense to the modern reader.

When this poem was written it was most unusual for writers to show interest in wild animals.

People did not have access to wildlife documentaries on television, as we do today: exotic animals might be seen in circuses and zoos, but tigers would be a rarity, perhaps turning up stuffed or as rugs (this was to become very common in the 19th century).
Just as today the tiger is a symbol of (endangered) wildlife, so for Blake, the animal is important as a symbol - but of what? One clue is to be found in the comparison with The Lamb (see the next poem, and the fifth stanza of this one). Blake's images defy simple explanation: we cannot be certain what he wants us to think the tiger represents, but something of the majesty and power of God's creation in the natural world seems to be present.
Blake's spelling in the title (The Tyger) at once suggests the exotic or alien quality of the beast. The memorable opening couplet (pair of rhyming lines) points to the contrast of the dark "forest of the night" (which suggests an unknown and hostile place) and the intense "burning" brightness of the tiger's colouring: Blake writes here with a painter's eye.
The penultimate (last but one) stanza takes us back to Genesis and the creation story there: on each of the six days (He rested on the seventh) God looked at His work and "saw that it was good". God is represented as being pleased with His creation, but Blake wonders whether this can be true of the tiger. If so, it is not easy to see how the same creator should have made The Lamb. The poem appropriately ends, apparently with the same question with which it started, but the change of verb from "could" to "dare" makes it even more forceful.

This poem is not so much about the tiger as it really is, or as a zoologist might present it to us; it is the Tyger, as it appears to the eye of the beholder. Blake imagines the tiger as the embodiment of God's power in creation: the animal is terrifying in its beauty, strength, complexity and vitality.