Creatures and creators

Blake_Dante_Inverno_II    
What is the meaning of our life? Are we here by chance or are we the product of some unintelligible scheme? If so, why? Are we ever going to have an answer? Maybe one day science will be able to provide us with all the responses we need, but in the meantime we still instinctively rely on that religious vision of men created by a god like being, who for some reasons must have started all this. If we totally get rid of this paradigm and accept our presence in the universe as the mere result of chance, alone in the universe, our life would appear somehow nonsensical. If there is a creator, let’s hope he had good reasons. Victor Frankenstein, as modern Prometheus, believed he had good reasons for sure, but the result of his arrogant defy to the laws of nature had produced a horrible, hideous creature that he had cruelly sentenced to eternal misery and loneliness. The monster is, in fact, rejected twice: both by human beings, thus becoming a social outcast, and by his own creator, who despises him not only for his ugliness, but also because he is the reminder on earth of his mortal limits. Victor declines the moral implication of his act towards his creation, who will strenuously try to nail him to his responsibilities of maker till the end, when he eventually kills him. The monster is the unfortunate expression of an imperfect creator. But the perfect, ” fearful symmetry”  of Blake‘s “Tiger” , from the homonymous poem, tells us of the vigor and superiority of this creator, who forged the frightening beast. Prometheus or the Greek God Hephaestus, who could be the hand that “seized the fire”? And once again, why? If the Tiger stands for fear, destructive power, evil, why did this God make it? To make us suffer? These thoughts pervade Blake’s mind, in a crucial moment of his life, that is  when you find yourself in “the forest of the night” : the age of doubt or, to use Blake’s words, the age of experience. Blake borrowed that image from Dante‘s  first Canto of Inferno, a poet that he knew well as he had illustrated the Divine Comedy, when the artist says that in the middle of the path of his life, he found himself in a “selva oscura“, the dark forest of uncertainty and doubt. This state of psychological frailty is pointed out by the numerous unanswered questions that make the structure of Bake’s poem and the last one, in particular, displays all the poet’s bewilderment: how can it be that the same God who created the meek, loving Lamb (good), forged the fearful tiger (evil) as well? All his sense of uneasiness is in the missing rhyme of the refrain, that “symmetry” that can’t fit in the rhyming scheme of the stanza, stands for the poet’s doubt who feels unfit to understand the divine scheme of creation, he is part of something without knowing why.