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What is the universal theme of Blake's "The Tyger"?

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sheloveselmo123 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 8, 2011 at 11:52 PM via web

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What is the universal theme of Blake's "The Tyger"?

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Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:29 AM (Answer #1)

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One theme central to Blake's "The Tyger" is the identity of God or the Creator.  The speaker asks what kind of creator would create a tiger?  What kind of creator would form such a powerful and destructive creature?

When read in contrast with "The Lamb," which is the partner poem of "The Tyger," the poem suggests that no dichotomy or separation exists between good and evil, between gentle and fierce.  The Creator is a mixture of the two, as are natural creatures and human beings.  The same Creator that made the lamb made the tiger.

Tyger!  Tyger!  burning bright

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

The answer is a Creator or Immortal who is a mixture of all.  He creates the tiger the same as he creates the lamb.  Evil is not evil, as we normally think of it.  It is just another side of good.  That idea is certainly "universal."

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