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"The Lamb", "The Tyger", "Hawk Roosting" and "The Jaguar",

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Introduction

Page1 William Blake and Ted Hughes From the titles of "The Lamb", "The Tyger", "Hawk Roosting" and "The Jaguar", it seems that these poems are about annimals but it quickly becomes apparent that they are in fact much more than simple descriptions. Annimals are symbols which describe metaphors about Man. Blake uses a wide variety of poetic forms in songs of innocence and experience. Hughes (1930-1996) believes man thinks he is God compared to all other creatures, in connection to this, he wrote a poem called "Hawk Roosting." "Hawk Roosting" consists of the whole poem being in first person- a hawk's eye view of the world. The hawk takes himself to be the exact centre of creation, assuming that trees, air, Sun and Earth were made for his convenience. "The convenience of the high trees", trees being the hawk's habitat and "the air's buoyancy and the Sun's ray", thermals for him to fly in. He then says "are of advantage to me", meaning they were made for his uses. In contrast to this, Man believes the earth is there for his advantage. ...read more.

Middle

The aspects of nature are beyond man's understanding and they look in awe and wonder at the Jaguar. They are scared at the jaguar but also have admiration for the creature. William Blake (1757-1827) is the more biblical out of the two poets. He wrote two famous poems which linked together: "The Tyger" and "The Lamb". "The Lamb" is a traditional symbol of innocence. It is also the animal of sacrifice, therefore resembles innocence. A child is innocent, harmless and has no experience. "Gave thee such a tender voice"~ has the voice of a child. Innocence does not need clothing, just as a baby can be naked, "softest clothing, woolly, bright" the lamb has no artificial clothing. The lamb is often used in the Bible, especially in the New Testament, where Christ is the lamb of God, offered as a sacrifice to attone for the sins of mankind. Adam and Eve were innocent in the Garden of Eden with the lamb being God's love. When they ate the apple they became like "The Tyger", knowledge leading to power, with God's anger throwing them out of the garden. ...read more.

Conclusion

Blake wrote this poem at about the time of the industrial revolution. This was a dark and gloomy time with pollution and an over-crowded population. "What the hammer? what the chain?" is in contact to all the machinery in the industries. It asks the question "Who do you think you are, to think that you can make something as unique as me with your machines?" In "The Lamb" and "The Tyger", Blake questions the origins of both animals and enters into a dialogue with the animals: "who made thee?", "in what furnace was thy brain?" In both poems, the question is rhetorical as he answers it (in " "The Lamb") with the line "little lamb, I'll tell you thee: he is called by thy name, for he calls himself a lamb". This leads the reader to the pure innocence and love that exists in the creation of one animal that "is called by thy name". In "The Tyger" Blake appears to be (I) questioning the very reason as to why God made such a creature. "Did he who made the lamb make thee?" and (II) inviting the reader to consider this when comparing it with God's other creations. ...read more.

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