The Tiger and the Lamb - Comparison

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"The Tiger" and "The Lamb" were both poems by William Blake. In this essay I am going to compare the two poems. Blake as a child was an outcast, and didn't have many friends. He was educated from home by his parents and fond sociability difficult. His family believed very strongly in God but did not agree with the teachings of the church. During his lonely hours Blake often read the Bible. He had a lot of free time to think about ideas reflect on life, and to strengthen his imagination. You could find a lot of biblical discourse in his poems. By the time he was an adult his active imagination allowed him to create vivid poetry and paintings, finally sent him mad! Blake published twp very famous books of poems of "Songs of Experience" and "Songs of Innocence". Poems from the "Songs of Experience" are all about the God who brought all the evil and suffering into the world. The poems from the "Songs of Innocence" are about the redemptive God of the New Testament, like Jesus. "The Lamb is from the "songs of Innocence", and "Tiger" from the "Songs of Innocence". "The Lamb" is the contrasting poem to "The Tiger".

The main question that I feel that Blake is asking in the two poems is that how can the same God make such a vicious animal and also make such an innocent animal. In "The Tiger" the God in it is strong, dark and sinister. He is described as a dark blacksmith. The next quotation shows this. "What hammer? What chain…dare its deadly terrors clasp"?

This comes from the end of verse four. The mention of tools and the dark line at the end gives me the image of a God working in a hot and fiery hell. This image would have reminded readers of the factories of the industrial revolution. Blake in verse four is all questions, to show that there is a lot of confusion in the verse.

In "The Lamb" the poem is very well structured. In the first verse it has the questions and in the second verse it has all the answers. If you were only to look at the poem briefly you would believe it was a children's poem. You would think this because of the simple vocabulary, and also if you notice, the poem uses soft alliteration "little lamb" this would give it a much softer feel to the poem, and so therefore some people might mistake it for a children's poem. Blake was a very holy person. He often out biblical discourse into many of his poems. I found some discourse in "The Lamb" the next quotation shows this. "He is meek, and he is mild"

This quotation is from the New Testament, where God was forgiving, where was in the Old Testament God was believed to punish people for their sins. The fact that there is biblical discourse in "The Lamb" is inspiring and gives as a sense of hope. The lack of biblical discourse in "The Tiger" gives the reader a sense of lack if reprieve, lack of hope "prison" of the world and all the terrible social injustice going on, like the French and Industrial Revolution which Blake felt were both negative. The Industrial Revolution because people were forced to work in very bad conditions. The French Revolution because thousands of people were killed by the guillotine. Another refences that "The Tiger" is an evil creature is the Greek myth of Prometheus. "The Tiger" is almost described like a Sun "burning bright" by Blake. This use of imagery reminds the reader of Prometheus who was sentenced to eternal torture (being pecked at by an eagle everyday) by the Gods because the stole fire from them, and gave it to the people. The creator of the tiger must be a rebel or God like Prometheus. Thus links to the image of hell. Suggests that the creator might be Satan. Also this links to French Revolution, the revolutionaries where known as Tigers.

Blake uses a lot of visual imagery in the poem to convey his message to the people. In "The Tiger" the nobles fought back against the French republic in the French Revolution. Or it could be a reference to the original battle between good and...
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