Literary Devices in “The Tyger” by William Blake

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Literary Devices in “The Tyger” by William Blake

This essay will provide an analysis of the literary devices used by William Blake in his poem “The Tyger.” It will explore the poem’s use of imagery, symbolism, and meter, discussing how these elements contribute to its overarching theme of creation and existential questioning. The piece will also delve into Blake’s use of rhetorical questions and the contrasting motifs of innocence and experience as seen in his collection “Songs of Innocence and of Experience.” PapersOwl offers a variety of free essay examples on the topic of Poetry.

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The Power of Alliteration in “The Tyger”

Literary Elements Authors use literary devices as techniques and tools in many different ways to help readers see and feel the meaning behind a storyline. William Blake, the author of “The Tyger,” uses literary elements, such as alliteration, symbolism, figurative language, and personification, to deeply understand the story. These devices will reach and draw in readers so they can relate and connect to the story as they are reading. Deutsch, the author of “Poetry Handbook,” says that “Alliteration, sometimes called head rhyme, is the echo of the first sound of several words in a line” (135).

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The author of this poem, Blake, uses alliteration to make specific lines of the poem stand out. For example, the first line of the poem starts out by saying, “Tyger! Tyger! burning bright.” The author uses the repeated sound of the letter “t” to show intensity and tension. It’s almost as if the speaker is speaking to the Tyger at loud. Another example of alliteration is in the second stanza: “distant deep.” Blake emphasizes the distance by letting the reader know that the creator might be far away. Overall, the author did a great job of using alliteration. Adding tension and strength made the poem memorable for the readers.

Symbolism and Imagery in “The Tyger”

Like many writers, Blake uses symbols throughout the story to help the readers create images in their minds. According to Rohrberger, the author of “Reading and Writing about Literature,” “symbolism refers to the use of symbols in works of art and in all other forms of expression” (21). Blake strikes the Tiger as a symbol of something that is evil. The words that are used to describe the Tyger, like “burning bright,” suggest what a mysterious creature he is. This literary device is effective because it allows the reader to paint a picture of what the author is trying to portray. Another effective literary device is imagery. Preminger and Brogan, the authors of “The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics,” defined imagery as “the reproduction in the mind of a sensation produced in perception” (559). In this poem, the imagery of “fire” brings out the possible danger of the Tyger. Blake, in a way, is allowing the reader to visualize Tyger as something that is scary and terrifying. Writers use images to help the readers understand what they are reading within their imagination. Blake uses symbolism and imagery to give the reader a chance to get in an insight into the poem.

Figurative Language in “The Tyger”

Eschholz, the author of “A Writer’s Reader,” explains that “figurative language grows out the writer’s mind, reflecting the way he or she views the story” (115). To grab the attention of the readers, Blake started and finished the poem with the same line. “Tyger! Tyger! burning bright, In the forests of the night.” To allow the poem to flow, he also uses personification by mentioning “what the stars threw down their spears.” Clearly, stars can’t carry spears, but he helps the reader create a mental picture in the mind of their own, using the speaker’s point of view. The purpose of figurative language is to allow the reader to create images out of their thoughts and emotions. Authors use figurative language by allowing readers to create those images so that they, too, can relate and experience the excitement.

Conclusion: The Power of Literary Devices in Poetry

Literary techniques are useful in many ways. Imagery allows the reader to paint a mental picture in their mind, and figurative language allows them to engage and reflect on what they are viewing in a story. Overall, William Blake creates an interesting poem and does a great job of using alliteration to help the reader remember the story by creating repeated sounds to stand out. Blake portrayed the Tyger as something that is evil by allowing us to envision it in a certain way. He uses the words like “burning bright” and “fire” to allow readers to sense how strong and fearful the Tyger is. Often, writers use persuasive techniques by allowing the reader to connect as they read. In conclusion, poetry presents many readers with the opportunity to experience powerful descriptions through the poet’s words.


  1. Deutsch, B. A. (Ed.). (2006). Poetry Handbook: A Dictionary of Terms. Bedford/St. Martin’s.

  2. Rohrberger, M. (Ed.). (2003). Reading and Writing About Literature. Pearson.

  3. Preminger, A., & Brogan, T. V. F. (Eds.). (1993). The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Princeton University Press.

  4. Eschholz, P. A. (Ed.). (2008). A Writer’s Reader: A Brief Reader. Bedford/St. Martin’s.

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Literary Devices in "The Tyger" by William Blake. (2023, Aug 18). Retrieved from