August 27, 2014
The Tyger" and "The Lamb" by William Blake, written in 1794 included both of these poems in his collection Songs of Innocence and Song of Experience, takes readers on a journey of faith. Through a cycle of unanswered questions, William Blake motivates the readers to question God. These two poems are meant to be interpreted in a comparison and contrast. They share two different perspectives, those being innocence and experience. To Blake, innocence is not better than experience. Both states have their good and bad sides. "The Tyger" is basically the negative reciprocal of "The Lamb" because it challenges God. The main question 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. God created all creatures great and small, and he could not have created two creatures more different from each other than the lamb and the tiger. The lamb and the tiger are just vehicles for Blake to express what he feels happens to people as they grow, develop and eventually become perverted by the world around them. In the poems "The Lamb" and "The Tyger," William Blake uses symbolism, figurative language, and religious questioning to advance or evoke the theme that God can create good and bad creatures. "The Lamb" is from Songs of Innocence. In choosing a lamb for the subject, Blake immediately establishes this poem of innocence as a religious. "The lamb is made by Christ and is an obvious symbol of the mild and gentle aspects of Creation, which are easy to associate with a God of love "(Edwards). The lamb in the poem is compared to Jesus Christ who is also known as "the lamb of god". William Blake's "The Lamb" is an attempt to bring up life's ultimate questions through the voice of child. He is questioning the lamb's and his origin, world, and creator. The poem is structured with the question as the first stanza and the answer as the second stanza. The child naively questions the lamb regarding its nature and also its creation. The child questions the lamb as to where he came from and asks, “Little Lamb, who made thee?/ Dost though know who made thee?/” (Blake 1-2) Throughout the poem the speaker continues to argue the lamb about its nature, as if to repress the lamb’s self worth. When the child receives no answers, he decides that he will tell the lamb where he came from. He says, “Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee!” (12). Jesus was a child once and the speaker relates saying, “I a child &ump; thou a lamb/ we are called by his name.” (17-18), meaning we are all Lambs of God. The child then ends the poem by sending God’s blessings to the lamb. Blake is speaking of what he sees are the positive aspects of the common beliefs of Christianity. However, it is not an accurate picture of the world because there it does not speak about the presence of evil in our world, which is followed by his poem "The Tyger". Blake’s "The Tyger" is the contrast poem to "The Lamb". "The Tyger" is the experience the loss of innocence that "The Lamb" seems to personify. The poem explores the perfectly beautiful and destructive tyger. According to Thomas Curley, “The Tyger” included a small painted representation of a four-footed “symmetrical” animal; the visual and printed symbol of the tiger has an immense complexity of meaning. The tiger signifies more than evil; it also suggests a mysterious, passionate, and violent beauty at odds with the pat, peaceful innocence of its contra "(Curley 1-2). The poem is a series of questions ask what kind of physical creative capacity the “fearful symmetry” of the tyger addresses. Blake builds on the idea that nature must reflect its creator in some way that only a strong and powerful being could be capable of such a creation. “Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright in the forests of the night,” (Blake 1) the reader conceives in their mind the image of a tiger with a coat blazing like fire deep in the dark forest. This creates a...
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