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Compare and Contrast 'The Lamb' and 'The Tyger' by William Blake

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GCSE English Literature Pre-1914 Poetry Coursework Compare and Contrast 'The Lamb' and 'The Tyger' by William Blake When do we change? When do we change from being the innocent children God sent into the world, to the poisoned, corrupted ones that leave the earth? William Blake's 'Songs of Innocence and Experience examine these different states. He wanted to show the two contrary states in a human mind. The Lamb and the Tyger are just vehicles for Blake to express what he feels happens to people as they grow, develop and eventually become perverted by the world around them. Blake's background and occupation greatly influenced the style and content of his poems. He lived during the 18th Century when the church was beginning to lose its grip on British society; science was rising up against the church. Blake was part of a group known as the Romantics. He began to challenge the church believing that an individual could discover God without going to church. His poems 'The Lamb' and 'The Tyger' reflect this, as he is telling how God created these two animals and on another level how he created humanity. 'We are called by his name' (The Lamb) ...read more.


In fact many may not even know what one actually looked like! 'When the stars threw down their spears' (The Tyger) 'Gave thee such a tender voice' (The Lamb) The metaphor in the Tyger creates pictures of hostility and war. This line can appear quite fearsome and makes the reader worried about becoming something similar. The Lamb however has qualities that you can associate with people that you care about. The words, 'tender voice' create images of people close to me comforting me when I've been distressed. It creates feelings of security and safety. Each poem has its own structure and form that highlight the contrast between them. The Tyger has six stanzas whereas The Lamb only has two. The Tyger is made up of pairs of rhyming couplets that have a strong rhythm. 'Tyger, Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night;' (The Tyger) The constant rhythm of the verses makes it sound chant like when read aloud. To me it sounds like a mantra or spell that pagans or witches would chant repeatedly. This sense of a chant adds to the devilish of the piece. You associate these sort of hexing with evil witches trying to curse people and bring pain and suffering to all. ...read more.


This leads me to what I think is the most important message that the poems show. Even the title of the two anthologies gives a clue, Songs of Innocence and Experience Showing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul. The Lamb and The Tyger are showing two contradictory stages in the human life. The Lamb shows the natural position that a child will begin with when they are born. If a child grew up in total isolation from the world they would remain innocent and pure. I think that Blake's message is that it is the human world that changes people. In The Tyger he is looking at a creature that has been perverted by the world. The tiger has become cold, angry and heartless and I think Blake believes this is what humans become once they see the true nature of the world. All around the world you can see suffering whether it be war, famine or even just arguments between friends. As people grow they become more exposed to these things and gradually become accustomed to things like this and see them as normal. It is then that people change from being the untainted children God sent to earth to the corrupted adults that leave it. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jessica Anderson Page 1 ...read more.

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