William Blake's Death And Allusions

Decent Essays

Though an esteemed painter in his day, William Blake achieves most of his fame through his profound poetry. Born in 1757, Blake grew up in London, England along with his five siblings (“William Blake”). Even from the beginning of his childhood, Blake always held the strong desire to become an artist (“William Blake”). As he grew up, he apprenticed first as an engraver and then later as a painter (“William Blake”). However, even though he set out to become an artist and took little interest in publishing his poems during his lifetime, Blake’s source of fame today comes from his exceptional poetry. In fact many English classes today, from elementary to college, challenge their students to analyse the complexity and depth of Blake’s poems, including one of his most famous works, “The Tyger”. Published in Blake’s collection of poems titled Songs of Experience in 1794, “The Tyger” depicts a poem that on the surface appears simple in its subject matter of a tiger, but in reality, paints a much deeper picture of a fearful, fiery beast (“William Blake”). In his poem “The Tyger”, William Blake uses poetic structure, literary devises, …show more content…

While Blake does make various Biblical allusions throughout his poem, such as to the Creation, he also references two of his own works. As the more well-known allusion, the reference to the “The Lamb”, a poem commonly paired with “The Tyger”, appears in a question in the fifth stanza. The narrator asks whether “he who made the Lamb”, the soft, mild creature, could “make thee”, the burning, fiery tiger (20). Though less well-known, Blake also adds a reference to one of his unfinished, mythology books, The Four Zoas. In both The Four Zoas and “The Tyger” the line “the stars threw down their spears” appears, a link which most people never notice (Nurmi). These allusions to Blake’s other works add a layer of depth to his already rich

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