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Comparison of Two Poems: 'the Tyger' and 'the Lamb'

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Comparison of Two Poems: 'the Tyger' and 'the Lamb'

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  • September 8, 2008
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I chose to do the comparison between ‘The Tyger’ and ‘The Lamb’ because they both have similar themes but are concerned with very different aspects of life. ‘The Tyger’ concentrates on the dangers to be faced in life and nature while ‘The Lamb’ celebrates nature as seen through the innocent eyes of a child. Blake examines different, almost opposite or contradictory ideas about the natural world, its creatures and their Creator.

William Blake is the narrator of both poems which emphasizes his questioning of creation and religion as themes in the two poems. The simplicity of Blake’s use of rhyming couplets in both poems makes them easy to read and remember. The poems have a rhythm similar to a nursery rhyme which makes them appealing to children as well as to adults. In ‘The Tyger”, Blake’s use of alliteration creates a more forceful image, as in ‘Tiger, tiger, burning bright’.

In both poems Blake uses animals and their characteristics to bring across his message, and uses rhetorical questions throughout the poems in order to challenge the reader. For example in ‘The Tyger’ Blake asks “What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry?”. Here we are challenged to imagine someone or something so powerful as to be able to create this animal. The first line of ‘The Lamb’, Blake asks a rhetorical question “Little Lamb, who made thee?” but in this poem Blake gives us the answer in the second stanza. He reminds us that the God who made ‘The Lamb’, also is like the Lamb. With this he bring religious significance into the poem.

There are a few themes developed in ‘The Lamb’. Blake describes the lamb as a symbol of childhood innocence. He also questions about how the lamb was brought into existence, which mentions another theme of divine intervention and how all creatures were created. In ‘The Tyger’ Blake describes the tiger as being a symbol of evil. This is displayed when Blake says ‘What an anvil? What dread grasp, Dare its deadly...