“The Tyger” is William Blake’s most widely taught poem. Its repetitive style and short length make it accessible to young readers, but the topic it explores is anything but childish. In “The Tyger”, Blake not only explores the coexistence of good and evil, but he also questions the source of their existence, asking how a single creator could create both beauty and horror. The poem resonates with modern readers because its essential question remains unanswered. Questions like “why do good people suffer?” and “how can good people do bad things?” both tie in with the poem’s premise. While “The Tyger” can be understood on a surface level without much prior knowledge, it also includes powerful metaphors and a number of religious and classical allusions that can enrich analysis and interest advanced students.
Juxtaposition is a literary term describing the placement of things near one another. The "things" could be people, places, ideas, objects, moods, motifs, emotions, etc. Juxtaposition as a literary element is accomplished by placing two (or more) "things" near each other. Much like classification in science, and comparing and contrasting, when placing two objects next to one another, the similarities and differences are typically noticeable right away. The less alike the two are, the greater the contrast, and the easier it is to spot the contrasts.