The Tiger and The Lamb Essay

The Tiger and The Lamb Essay

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The Tiger and The Lamb


The Tiger and The Lamb were both poems by William Blake. In this essay I am going to compare the two poems. Blake, as a child, was an outcast and didnt have many friends. He was educated at home by his parents and found sociability difficult. His family believed very strongly in God but did not agree with the teachings of the church. During his lonely hours, Blake often read the Bible. He had a lot of free time to think about ideas, reflect on life and to strengthen his imagination. You could find a lot of biblical discourse in his poems. By the time he was an adult his imagination allowed him to create vivid poetry and paintings; finally sending him mad. Blake published two very famous books of poems called Songs of Experience and Songs of Innocence. Poems from the Songs of Experience are about God, who brought evil and suffering into the world.

The poems from the Songs of Innocence are about the redemptive God of the New Testament, namely Jesus. The Lamb is from the Songs of Innocence and The Tiger from the Songs of Innocence. The Lamb is the contrasting poem to The Tiger. The main question that I feel Blake is asking in the two poems is, how can the same God make such a vicious creature but also make such an innocent animal? In The Tiger, God is strong, dark and sinister. He is described as a dark blacksmith, as the following quotation indicates, What hammer? What chaindare its deadly terrors clasp? This quote comes from the end of verse four. The mention of tools and the dark description at the end gives the reader an image of God working in a hot and fiery hell. This image would have reminded readers of the factories associated with the Industrial Revolution. Blake, in verse four uses question...


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... Blake describes, Burnt the fire in thine eyes. The word fire, like hell, suggests hot and sweaty. India, the origin of the tiger, is hot and sweaty. The lamb brings a mood of calm, reassuring and happiness as Blake shows By the stream and over the mead. Sheep filled fields and streams appear dreamlike and convey a sign of hope. A sign of hope because while the Industrial Revolution was taking place, open fields were disappearing, smoggy factories multiplied. This particular imagery by Blake, I find to be very effective. Many People believe that The Tiger is mysterious and feel that too much analysis of will spoil the impact of the message. I personally feel that it was asking one question; Did he who made the Lamb make Thee? The Lamb, I feel can be a simple childrens poem or an English professors work. Either way, I still enjoyed reading and analyzing these poems.

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