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The Lamb and The Tyger Essay

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The Lamb and The Tyger

In the poems "The Lamb" and "The Tyger," William Blake uses symbolism, tone, and rhyme to advance the theme that God can create good and bad creatures. The poem "The Lamb" was in Blake's "Songs of Innocence," which was published in 1789. "The Tyger," in his "Songs of Experience," was published in 1794. In these contrasting poems he shows symbols of what he calls "the two contrary states of the human soul" (Shilstone 1). In "The Lamb," Blake uses the symbol of the lamb to paint a picture of innocence. The lamb is a symbol of Jesus Christ. The lamb is also a symbol of life. It provides humans with food, clothing, and other things humans need to survive. The line "For he calls himself a Lamb" is a line
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According to Blake this creature has a special "inner" source of energy which distinguishes its existence from the cold and dark world of inanimate things (Blake 3). There is also an essence of the devil in the tiger. William Blake points this out by using words like furnace and just by him picking a tiger. There are many other violent predators out in the jungle but he chose the tiger because of its bright orange and black. When it runs it looks like a fireball. In line twenty of "The Tyger," William Blake says, "Did He who make the lamb make thee?" (Blake 539). What he is wondering is if he made such an innocent creature like the lamb how could he make a beast like the tiger? Persona is an important concept in these poems. "The Lamb" could be read as a nursery rhyme to little children. The persona of this poem is one of a little child talking to a lamb. The persona of "The Lamb" is shown in line seventeen, "I a child, and thou a lamb." The persona helps Blake to show that God made such a harmless creature like the lamb and such a pure child. The reader knows that God made both these creatures because the line "Little Lamb, who made thee?"(Blake 538) is repeated throughout the poem. The child is a symbol of purity so that is why Blake chose to use a child as the persona rather than a grown up. The child is describing to the lamb who made him: We know this because in the second
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