Comparison of the Poems The Tyger and The Lamb Essay

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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 rhymes. “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 &
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The image of a wild animal existing in the shadows of ‘the night’ proposes that it is the beastly alter-egos, or parts of our personality that we would preferably keep hidden in our dreams rather than appear in the light of day. With experience humans recognise the floors in their personality whether it be jealousy, arrogance etc. Children are at the beginning process of learning, and are naïve of their attributes as they are stil on the path of discovery. The Lamb symbolically represents the endearing curiosity that is commonly associated with that of a child’s. A child is inquisitive in spirit, often asking questions and expecting answers like the poem ‘The Lamb’. This poem implies that children possess an untainted conception of creation and an adoration for all things celestial: “Gave thee clothing of delight,

/Softest clothing wooly bright;

Gave thee such a tender voice,”

Questioning in ‘The Tyger’ differs from ‘The Lamb’, it consists of rhetorical questions directed at the ‘Tyger,’ though they are much directed at the reader. The poem questions the identity of the creator and discusses how the ‘Tyger’ could have been created. The fact that there are no answers in ‘The Tyger’ adheres to the complexity of adult life differentiating from ‘The Lamb’ where answers are provided.

The Tyger is a creature both cruel and awe-inspiring to humans, it is this duplicity that makes the poem ambiguous: ‘What immortal hand or eye,/ Could frame
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