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Compare and contrast the two poems 'The Lamb' and 'The Tyger' by William Blake.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the two poems 'The Lamb' and 'The Tyger' by William Blake In this essay I am going to analyse, compare and contrast two poems by William Blake. They are called 'The Lamb' and 'The Tyger'. I will be looking at how Blake uses imagery, structure and form to create effects and how the environment that Blake lived in affected the way he wrote his poems. In the late 18th century, the world was changing and developing into a new world quite fast. Blake was born in London, the third of five children. Because of the relatively lower middle class status of his fathers line of work, Blake was raised in a state of not quite poverty, but he saw what life could really be like if he was down on his luck, and this he would experience for the rest of his life. When he was nineteen the American Revolution happened and this caused great social unrest in the high and wealthy classes. Then, when he was 32, the French Revolution occurred which signalled the end of the monarchy and aristocracy in France. This, not surprisingly, caused the same area of society in Britain to fear that the same would happen in their back yard. ...read more.

Middle

A real sense of respect for this animal appears in the readers mind. Something with an "immortal hand or eye" made this creature, something with great power. Again, in contrast to the lamb, a Tyger can be quite a scary, foreboding creature you wouldn't want to bump into in the dark in the wild, you'd probably run for your life if it so much as licked its lips at you. The ideal place for this creature to be seen is from inside a hide where it cannot see you; out of its way. This all emphasizes the respect for this creature. Blake's poetry is full of striking images. In 'the Tyger' the Tyger's coat is compared to fire. This shows the idea that it has been made in a blacksmith's workshop, "what the hammer what the chain", "...anvil..." this is the key tool of a blacksmith. The image of fire is conveyed in the line "burnt the fire of thine eyes" this gives a dangerous feeling to the reader because fire can cause death and destruction, it is again conveyed in the line "in what furnace was thy brain". 'The lamb' has less striking images and more soft calm ones. ...read more.

Conclusion

The alliteration of the "L" sound in '...little lamb...' gives a delicate sounding start to the poem. The use of old forms of address gives a very traditional feel to the poem (thee, thy etc). These are all ways of saying you, but we have ceased to use them, maybe it is because everyone else in Europe has only one word for 'you'. Blake occasionally takes out a letter in a word so that the line has the same amount of syllables as the one that preceded it. "By the stream & and o'er mead" the missing 'v' in over reduces the amount of syllables from two to one. This is so that the rhyming pattern will be even (6,6,7,7,7,7,7,7,6,6) instead of (6,6,7,8,7,7,7,7,6,6), also most of the rhymes in this poem are visual as well as oral this emphasizes the poems rhymes and thus allowing the message to get through clearer. The language used in 'the Tyger' is, in places, very similar to that of 'the lamb'. It uses alliteration in the phrase, "burning bright" to emphasize how striking the colour of this animals coat is. It also uses the old forms of address and it too has visual rhymes as well as oral ones. But what it has that 'the lamb' doesn't is, it repeats words one after the other in the phrase "Tyger, Tyger", this is used the same way alliteration is to stress the metaphor. ...read more.

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