Contemplating God's Creation in William Blake's The Lamb and The Tyger

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William Blake was born and raised in London from 1757 to 1827. Throughout his early years, Blake experienced many strange and unusual visions, claiming to have seen “angels and ghostly monks” (Moore). For those reasons, William Blake decided to write about mystical beings and Gods. Two examples of the poet expressing his point of view are seen in “The Tyger” and “The Lamb.” Both poems demonstrate how the world is and to sharpen one’s perception. People perceive the world in their own outlook, often times judging things before they even know the deeper meaning of its inner personification. Blake’s wondrous questions actually make an acceptable point because he questions whether God created the tiger with the same intentions as he did with the lamb.

In “The Lamb,” the speaker asks the lamb about how it was made, the clothing of its wool and its “tender voice.” The speaker then answers its own question and bestows the blessing of the lamb. The Lamb can symbolize a child, innocence, meek, or vulnerability. Also, it can be perceived as Jesus. “The lamb is also a metaphor for the child speaker, who belongs to Christ's ‘flock.’ In Christianity, Jesus is compared both to a lamb going to the sacrifice and to a shepherd who protects his flock of lambs and sheep” (Shmoop). At the beginning of this poem, it starts out with the question of “Little Lamb, who made thee… I a child and thou a lamb” (Line 1, 17). It refers to the saying in the Bible, “…in the beginning when god created the heavens and the earth. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind” (Mazur). The narrator only calls himself a child because we are all “children of god” as many say. In line 18, “We are called by his name,” reinforces the idea that the lamb...

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...ons. He shows everyone the meaning of the world that lies ahead of them, and the different ways to approach them. Blake effectively displays the different perspectives of man's path in life by his use of contrasting figures and the symbolism it conveys. The tiger may represent man's original state of sin and the qualities that portray it while the lamb symbolizes the innocence and purity brought along with its creation. Everyone’s knowledge is symbolic.

Works Cited

"Bible Stories: A Sociologist Looks at Implausible Beliefs in Genesis." Ed. Allan Mazur. Web.

The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. 8th ed. Michael Meyer. Print.

Liukkonen, Petri. "William Blake (1757-1827)." Web.

Moore, Andrew. "Poems by William Blake-study guide." Web.

Shmoop. "The Lamb." Web.

"The Tiger." Ed. Cummings. Web.

"Welcome to Nimbi and William Blake Poetry." Web.

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