Can we call "The Tyger" a romantic poem?

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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"The Tyger" is clearly an example of English Romanticism; several elements of the Romantic literary movement are found in the poem: the exploration of nature and the emphasis upon beauty, mystery, and a supernatural or divine presence. The tiger in Blake's poem is a creature of the natural world; it is fierce yet quite beautiful, "burning bright." It inspires a sense of awe in the poet. The central mystery in the poem is the origin of the tiger--more precisely, the identity and the nature of the divine being that created it. Did the same loving God who created the gentle lamb also create the fierce, cruel, powerful tiger? And if so, why? Thus "The Tyger" seeks to know and understand the mysterious workings of God, an important Romantic theme in literature. For the poet to consider such spiritual mysteries is also suggestive of Romanticism, which explores the inner life of the self rather than man's role in society.

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