Write about The Lamb and The Tiger by William Blake. Explain how
the poet portrays these creatures and comment on what you consider to
be the main ideas and attitudes of the poet.
'All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.'
Cecil Frances Alexander
Indeed, 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 question arises in one's mind therefore: -
'Could one creator design and give life to two exhibits of such a vast
William Blake certainly poses this question in a somewhat clever
manner in the two examples of his work that I've analysed and
compared, namely 'The Lamb' and 'The Tiger'.
In the two collections of his work, namely Songs of Innocence and
Songs of Experience, he has several contrasting poems that bring the
two states of being described by both collections under the
microscope. As one of the early Romance poets, Blake was writing in
opposition to the rapidly changing, revolutionary eighteenth-century.
Essentially, that opposition developed into an appreciation of the
emotions, as opposed to reason ant intellect, and a recognition of the
purity and innocence which childhood represents in contrast with the
corruptions and in-authenticity of adulthood, with its learning and
experience of life. The English Industrial Revolution played a very
influential role in William Blake's work.
Songs of Innocence includes a reversal of the expected 'hierarchies'.
The poems reject t...
... middle of paper ...
...ecessary self-knowledge. The Lamb develops into the Tiger -
innocence is the price that must me paid to attain an identity in
'grown-up land'. It has to sacrifice its meek, mild, gentile innocence
to become the Tiger of Experience prowling the 'dark forests' of life.
In conclusion, I feel William Blake is attempting to transmit an
important message: never mind how innocent we are during our naÃ¯ve,
happy playground days, the big bad world is awaiting us all, and we
have to stop resisting and accept that we're all going to develop into
Tigers at some point - gaining our own unique symmetry in place of our
soft, delightful, tender selves. Life past, present and future poses
many questions - it's up to us to answer them, to discover our true
identities, and to decide where exactly our faith lies. Innocence is
the foundation upon which experience is built.
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