“The Fly” by William Blake has a very loose structure, and uses a trimester rhyme scheme. The purpose of using trimester is for the short lines to symbolize the brevity of life. The first of the five stanzas describes an innocent fly being thoughtlessly killed by a human being. The second compares a man to a fly and a fly to a man. The third and fourth explain how flies and humans are similar, and the fifth affirms that man is indeed like a fly.
Death is repeatedly referred to as a hand. The fly is killed by being “brushed away” by the humans “thoughtless hand. ” The human is killed by the “blind hand” of death. Blake uses the technique of Juxtaposition of the fly and the speaker. The human sees the fly as powerless, and then realizes that humans could be seen in the same manner by a higher order. He says he is fated to live his life “Till some blind hand/ Shall brush my wing”, comparing his death to that of the fly.
The iris stanza uses the imagery of the human placed in a God-like position when he kills the fly. When the human speaking from the point of view of a human, the fly symbolizes those below the speaker in society. The theme of “The Fly” is man’s extreme weakness in comparison to God/death/fate. The poem also uses a common theme of Flake’s: innocence and experience. The fly is totally innocent and powerless. The speaker realizes that human beings are powerless in the same way, and this passes him into the realm of experience.