Essay about William Blake 's The Tyger

Essay about William Blake 's The Tyger

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Why did William Blake decide to illustrate his own poems? In 1789, he published Songs of Innocence, and in 1794, he published its partner Songs of Experience. While it is not unusual for authors to publish their poems, Blake’s sets are different because he not only wrote the poems but illustrated and printed them himself. Blake could have done this because he could. He had experience and skills as a printer, but because he created the illustrations himself, it is possible to use them to find a deeper meaning for each poem (Lynch). This could have possibly been his intention. Using this, one can find more meanings for his pieces even when the illustrations do not necessarily compare with their poem.
The Tyger is an example of a poem that has an illustration that does not seem to match the poem. In the poem, the narrator describes a creature that is so fearsome and terrifying that he wonders about who created the tyger, but in the illustration, the tyger looks very harmless and almost like a cute little house cat. While the picture does not show the tyger’s fierceness, it could be showing something else. In the poem, the narrator inquiries about the creator. He wonders if the one who created the Lamb also created the Tyger. This could be making a reference to what could be considered The Tyger’s partner poem in Songs of Innocence. In The Lamb, the narrator also wonders if the creator of the Lamb is the same as the tyger. Blake could have been showing both the good and the bad of the creature just like he implies the creator is.
The poems Holy Thursday that can be found in both the Songs of Innocence and the Songs of Experience show how “God” or at least the people who follow him can look good in the innocent version but be bad ...


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...ustrations do not even include the images he uses in his poems but a different view on his words. The fact that the Tyger is not shown as fearsome as he is described shows that there is more to him. Instead of just using illustrations to only decorate the pages, Blake used them to add deep, new, and clarifying ideas to strengthen the difference between Innocence and Experience. If someone else had drawn the illustrations, would they have been similar? They would have probably shown what is shown through words in the poems. If Blake could not have made the pictures himself, would he have written the poems differently? Possibly. Blake used his illustrations to show what he either tried to say or did not say in his poems, and they show a little bit of the meaning behind each poem whether they are illustrations of what really happened in the poem or something different.

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