Tyger and the Lamb Comparison

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The "Songs of Innocence and Experience" by William Blake contain complementary poems that each shed light on one another. "The Lamb" when compared with "The Tyger" show the dramatic changes in Blake's view of the meaning of life and the biblical beliefs at this time. The poems reflect the child-like belief of the world to a darker, more sinister society.

"The Lamb" was written to sound like a child speaking with an innocent voice. When he asks, "Little Lamb, who made thee?" it is a symbolic reference to the wonder of creation and Blake’s view of a loving God. “Gave thee life and bid thee feed…gave thee such a tender voice” shows God’s blessing given to this one creature. “He is called by thy name…He is meek and He is mild” is also referring to Jesus Christ. The Christian message says that God so loved the world that He gave His only son as a sacrifice for the sins of all men. God’s love is shown by the tender calmness of the poem.

If “The Lamb” represents the ideal, then “The Tyger” represents reality. “The Tyger” is a darker, heavier poem. “The Tyger” is symbolic of Satan and “The Lamb” is symbolic of Jesus; this shows there is a belief of good and evil. Satan is pure evil like the Tyger; he is to be feared. “On what wings dare he aspire” is referring to Satan’s desire to be God himself. “When the stars threw down their spears” is a reference of the war between God and Satan, good and evil. “Did he who made the Lamb make thee?” questions the ability of God to create something so good and innocent, as the Lamb, and also make something so dark and terrifying, as the Tyger.

Each poem depends on the other to show Blake’s perception of good and evil, the Lamb and the Tyger. “The Lamb” shows Blake’s belief that goodness can be obtained, as did God. In “The Tyger” his attitude has changed to a more rational view. Blake shows no animosity toward evil but shows the interest and fear of it. It is not possible to understand good without a knowledge of evil....
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