Symbolism In William Blake's The Lamb And The Tyger

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During one’s lifetime, they might come across various experiences that give them an insight to the hidden truths behind life; the good things and also the bad evil things. These ideas were the main topics in the poems of William Blake’s poems “The Lamb” and “The Tyger”. These poems were written during the literary era known as the Romantic Era, which took place from the late 18th century to the early 19th century. The era’s tenets were about individuality, spiritual elements, and emphasis of self-expression. “The Lamb” was included in Blake’s Songs of Innocence and told of the positive aspects of life in innocence and chastity. “The Tyger”, which was included in Songs of Experience, dealt with the more negative aspects such as the horrors…show more content…
The theme conveyed in the poem is the beauty of creation is never fully understood by the created. In the poem, the speaker, having seen the evils of life, compares evil to a “tyger” and ponders on how something as beautiful as the tyger could be capable of such evil. The speaker then asks who could have made such a being. The title of the poem represents a tyger which symbolizes power, fear, and ferociousness. The mysterious speaker, though never confirmed, could be the young child from “The Lamb” grown up and now describing reality and its sad nature. Blake utilizes synecdoche in the poem as the speaker asks “what immortal hand or eye, could frame thy fearful symmetry?” This means to ask what kind of being could create such an evil perfection. He also further utilizes it in “[and] what shoulder, & what art, could twist the sinews of thy heart?” which means what strength and skill is capable of constructing the structures of the tyger. Blake also uses apostrophes as the speaker asks rhetorical questions towards how, who, and what was used to create the “tyger”. The author uses imagery to create a picture of a tyger with eyes made of fire which gives it an imperiously evil feel. The attitude of the speaker in the poem is perplexed and awed, which is revealed through the amount of questions the speaker asks. The poem presents a grim and mysterious mood through negative…show more content…
“The Lamb” unlike its poetic counterpart, views the world in a naïve manner where the speaker is shielded by innocence and knows nothing about evil. Whereas “The Tyger” with the speaker having been exposed to real life, ponders why such evil in the world exists. Both poems feature their speakers asking questions of and about their creators, and thus are similar. Both poems dwell on the same matter while providing different perspectives. The speaker of “The Lamb” is cheerful to the lamb’s meekness and innocence which is comparable to that of Jesus’. The speaker of “The Tyger” however, is perplexed as to whether the same creator who created the lamb that is so immaculate could have created the tyger which full of evil. Though both poems are comparable, they also contrast each other. In “The Lamb”, the speaker knows of the lamb’s creator and directly states it but in “The Tyger” it isn’t clearly stated and left for the reader to make their judgment. For one to fully understand each poem, they might need to read both poems to see the two different sides they present in good and evil. Put together these poems ask the question of how good and evil can coexist in the world. These poems could be seen as the two faces of a coin they show contrasting views to reality. Though “The Lamb” offers a different view from “The Tyger”, they need to be together to get a full understanding of the
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