Free «The Emotions of the Narrator in "The Tyger"» Essay Paper

The Emotions of the Narrator in

The emotional aspect of poetry has always played a very important role in communicating the main idea that the author wants to present to the audience. The oeuvre of William Blake is not an exception, and the emotions in the poem entitled “The Tyger” help to create a better picture of the psychological and intellectual state of the narrator. The narrator feels a wide range of emotions towards the tiger; however, the feelings of awe, amazement, and doubt while questioning the role of the creator can be considered the most crucial and significant ones.

The tiger, from the perspective of the narrator, is such a complex creature that he cannot help admiring its beauty and strength. The narrator looks at the tiger and he is amazed by every “part” of this animal. Blake does not describe the tiger only from the perspective of the outer beauty – the fur, the grace of the animal etc. At the beginning of the poem, the narrator mentions “fearful symmetry,” probably speaking about the stripes of the tiger that are identical on the right and left sides of the animal (4). These stripes create such a complex and elegant pattern that the narrator cannot believe that it could be created by anyone. Therefore, this symmetry that puzzles and amazes him is called “fearful” as he cannot find any explanation to it. However, later the awe of the narrator passes from the outer beauty to the inner “fire” and mental abilities of the tiger making the animal almost equal to a human being. Speaking about the tiger, Blake talks about “the fire of thine eyes” and acknowledging the great inner power of the animal asks “what the hand, dare seize the fire” (6-8). The narrator is so impressed with the “fire” that from his point of view the tiger becomes almost unreachable in its beauty and grace. This amazement of the narrator is also caused by the “brain” of the tiger (Blake). This combination of outer beauty, great inner strength called the “fire,” and the mental abilities of the animal are primary reasons for the narrator to be extremely impressed while watching the tiger.

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At the same time, these emotions of awe and amazement are mixed with the religious doubt that is evident in almost every line of the poem. Blake lived in the period when church dogmas began to be frequently questioned due to various advancements in science, technology etc. The narrator who expresses the ideas of the poet does not deny the existence of Christian God. There are some clear biblical allusions in the poem. For example, the narrator asks, “Did he who made the Lamb make thee” (20). However, at the same time, the narrator does not blindly obeys the religious doctrine, and it fills his mind and soul with painful doubts. When he looks at the tiger, the view of such a perfect creature makes him doubt whether anyone could create this animal. The theme of creation is very important in this poem as it is full of different symbols related to the process of manufacturing things – the hammer, furnace, anvil etc. The mystery of creation leaves the narrator at a loss. He does not want to ruin the existing laws of the world, but he questions their reliability and faithfulness.

To conclude, the narrator is full of emotions when he is looking at the tiger. His feelings can be better described as a mixture of amazement and religious doubts. These emotions are caused by the beauty, grace and strength of the tiger that the narrator cannot understand. For him, the tiger is a perfect creature that inspires him, but leaves puzzled concerning its true origin.

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