What is the meaning of these two sentences from "The Tyger" in Songs of Innocence and Experience? What is the meaning of these few sentences in Williams Blakes poem "The Tyger"??? I'm not quite...

What is the meaning of these two sentences from "The Tyger" in Songs of Innocence and Experience?

What is the meaning of these few sentences in Williams Blakes poem "The Tyger"???

I'm not quite sure what he's trying to say

 

What the hammer? what the chain?

In what furnace was thy brain?

AND

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand dare sieze the fire?

 

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

Posted on

It is key to realise that in this great poem that is part of Blake's stunning collection of poetry, Songs of Innocence and Experience, the speaker is so impressed and overpowered by the tiger and its strength and might that he asks a series of rhetorical questions, asking what immortal being, divine or demonic, could have created such a fearsome creature and how. These questions are never answered, but the two quotes that you have highlighted are some of these rhetorical questions.

The first quote you have highlighted uses an implied metaphor to compare the process of fashioning the tiger to a blacksmith forming something out of metal. Note that the "hammer" is refered to and then the speaker asks what kind of "furnace" could have been used to fashion the brain of the tiger.

Likewise, the second quote asks what the motive was for creating such a creature as the tiger and questions the identity of the person that "seized the fire," metaphorically bringing the tiger to life.

It is important to realise that all of these questions remain unanswered. We are still left pondering the symbol of the tiger and the power, strength and terror that it represents.

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