Comparison of William Blake and John Keats

Topics: Question, The Tyger, Romanticism Pages: 3 (1026 words) Published: March 20, 2008
Romantic poetry, despite the name, is not always about love and relationships. The theme of Nature is predominant in a lot of Romantic poetry, where questions arise as to what that nature is, what it symbolizes, and how it is interpreted. There are many different views on nature, and each poet explores them differently. The questions posed by poets about nature, or any other subject for that matter, are often times left unanswered and the theme of negative capability comes into play. Negative capability is when people are satisfied with what they know, the answers they get, and they know that all questions cannot be answered. In William Blake's "The Tyger" and "The Lamb," nature is discussed in two opposing forms, where the question of who created the creatures is asked. In John Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale," different questions are asked, but in the same nature as those in Blake's poems. The three poems are all similar in discussing nature; however there are differences in the negative capability of them. In both "The Lamb" and "The Tyger," by William Blake, an animal is represented as a personification of a thought, feeling or an abstract idea. Although both of the poems are similar in style and the questions they pose, the two creatures couldn't be more different. The Lamb represents simplicity, purity and innocence whereas the Tyger represents evilness and fear. Where the Lamb is considered a very natural creature, the Tyger is the complete opposite. Blake asks who created both of these creatures, but he only derives an answer for one of them. The Lamb is said to be created by God, but is that because Blake believed the answer to be fact? Or was it because that is what he wanted to believe? Both contrary and similarly the question of who created the Tyger is not answered. It is suggested that God may have also created the Tyger as he did the Lamb, "Did he who made the Lamb make thee?" ("The Tyger" line 20) but Blake does not want to...
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