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Paxson Lecture: Blake's "The Tyger"

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by

J. Paxson

on 15 December 2014

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Transcript of Paxson Lecture: Blake's "The Tyger"

THE TYGER (from Songs Of Experience)
By William Blake
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake- The Tyger
A Guide to Literary Analysis
Allusion: Prometheus
Olympus
Prometheus
+
=
Icarus
Hubris
Pride
Allusion: Reference to literary or historical figure
or
Heaven
Hell
Death
Life
Alliteration: Repetition of two or more words with same consonant sound.
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
Imagery:
Fire = passion, evil, hate
Tiger parts: Claw, eyes, = power
Symmetry, Anvil, Hammer, Furnace, Brain, Claw, Eyes, = Creation
Symbols
Tiger = Evil or Experience
Lamb = Good or Innocence
Allusions
Icarus = Pride/Hubris
Prometheus: attempted to make civilization better, but because stolen fire also used for evil --> suffered endless consequences.
Interpretations:
1. Good vs Evil
2. Innocence vs Experience
3. Theological Questioning of creator(s)
Prezi and Mini-lecture by: Justin Paxson
Full transcript