In "The Tyger," what does the image of the tiger burning in the first line suggest?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the most famous poems contained in Blake's brilliant Songs of Innocence and Experience is "The Tyger," which begins with the well-known lines:

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

The first two lines of the first stanza help create a distinct visual image of the flicker of a tiger's stripes as seen through the trees of a dark forest. Of course, the intense, burnt orange colour of the tiger would give it the impression of almost being like a flame as it runs through the trees and the flickering would be created by the way that the tree trunks would block the view of the living torch that would be running so swiftly through the night. The first two lines are actually an example of an implied metaphor, as the tiger is compared to a flame or a torch that "burns bright" as it runs around at night.

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