Comparison of the Poems The Tyger and The Lamb

1215 Words5 Pages
Comparison of the Poems The Tyger and The Lamb In William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience we are confronted with a powerful juxtaposition of nature. The innocuous ‘lamb’ and the ferocious ‘Tyger’ are designed to be interpreted in comparison with each other. Both creatures innovatively define childhood, they provide a contrast between youthful innocence and the experience of age contaminating it. ‘The Lamb’ is simplistic in vocabulary and style, Blake uses childish repetitions nostalgic of children’s nursery rhymes. “Little Lamb I’ll tell thee, Little Lamb I’ll tell thee:“ This childish concept is significant as the reader is informed in the second stanza that the voice of the poem is of a child: ‘I a child & thou a lamb,’ The reader establishes a genuine affection for the innocence that the Lamb has which continues to manifest throughout the poem however, the Lamb is later on compared to a Christ or God-like figure in addition to a child: “He is called by thy name, For he calls himself a Lamb; He is meek & he is mild, He became a little child…” Observing that the gentle lamb is defenceless when compared to a predatory ‘tyger‘, emphasises Blake’s view that childhood innocence evaporates when it is challenged with the harsh reality of adulthood experience, corresponding to ’The Tyger’. “Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night;” This represents Blake’s visionary quality as a poet, he uses the metaphor ‘burning bright’ to symbolise the distinctive fiery orange colouring of the ‘Tyger’ but also it contrasts with the setting. Choosing to make the forest of the night plural effectively conjures the image of a mysterious and hostile place, establishing te... ... middle of paper ... ...r suggests that the Tiger should not have been created. This is significant because Blake implies that although both creatures are polar opposites in nature, one is innocent and vulnerable and the other ferocious and volatile they both exist in the human spirit. Both animals are creations of God and ultimately both natures exist in God. Blake’s belief that Good and Evil are both parts of God, which is essential for balance in the world, allowing there to be free will for people to make decisions. Thus, neither the seemingly innocent ‘Lamb’ is all Good, nor is the ‘Tyger ‘all Bad. Different circumstances call people to use their attributes in different ways. For instance it would be better to have the strength, and predatory quality presented in the ‘Tyger’ to survive when faced with confrontation rather than the naïve vulnerability of a docile lamb.

More about Comparison of the Poems The Tyger and The Lamb

Open Document