Essay on Comparison of the Poems The Tyger and The Lamb

Essay on Comparison of the Poems The Tyger and The Lamb

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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

“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.

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