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'The Lamb' and 'The Tyger'

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'The Lamb' and 'The Tyger' William Blake did not go to school but instead was apprenticed to an engraver. He later moved on to the royal academy where he acquired his taste for mysticism. This combined with his distrust of organised religion lead him to write such questioning poems such as 'The Lamb' and 'The Tyger'. Through poems like this Blake wanted to escape from the repressive and puritanical views people had of Christianity in the eighteenth century and to simply marvel at creation The titles 'The Lamb' and 'The Tyger' portray contrasts about the poem from the very start. We see that the lamb is meek and innocent and the fierceness of the tiger contrasts with this, and that is why they work as they were intended, as opposites. ...read more.


'What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?' is asked. No answer is provided but the images suggested are more hellish, the words 'hammer', 'furnace' and 'anvil' being used. In essence the poet is asking the question, through putting the two poems together, can the God who made the lamb also have made the tiger? How can a God who is 'meek' and 'mild' create something such as the tiger? It makes us then question our previous assumption that God made the lamb. Contrast is employed in the two poems to point out opposites. The poem 'The Lamb' is slightly sickly in its imagery and phrases like 'softest clothing, woolly, bright' are child-like and innocent. ...read more.


The Tiger in the poem is portrayed as so terrible that to create it would require something even greater and more terrifying. 'What hand dare seize the fire' of the tiger? In the end there are two ways in which we might view these poems as a pair. Did the poet intend us to marvel at the beauty of nature, at the sheer variety of life and wonder that two things so different could be created by the same entity? Are we meant to marvel that it could create something as fierce as the tiger and as meek as the lamb. Paradoxically are we to draw from it that these two creatures the lamb and the tiger are so different that they could not possibly have been created by the same immortal hand and so a belief in God should be questioned? ...read more.

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