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William Blake included “The Tyger” in his poetry anthology “Songs of Experience”, whereas “The Lamb” was placed in the anthology “Songs of Innocence”. Compare and contrast these poems, and consider why each was posi

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Introduction

William Blake included "The Tyger" in his poetry anthology "Songs of Experience", whereas "The Lamb" was placed in the anthology "Songs of Innocence". Compare and contrast these poems, and consider why each was positioned in its particular anthology. Born into eighteenth century Victorian England, William Blake was subject to an unstable upbringing into a rapidly changing society. His parents did not accept the traditional teachings and practises of the Church of England; consequently, Blake obtained an obscure view of religion. He led an antisocial childhood, sitting alone reading the Bible, and even claimed to have had visions of angels. In keeping with the rebellious nature of his family, Blake refused to attend school. His disturbed youth is clearly apparent in his poetry; especially apparent in his works "The Tyger" and "The Lamb". In his poetry, Blake challenges the reader to question the establishment and come to their own conclusions about God, creation and life. In 'The Tyger', the six verses of rhyming couplets consist of lines of varying syllables, but with at least one word of over two syllables, create a regular beat, showing the speed and excitement of the creature, creating a passionate, if not urgent tone. The tiger is shown to be powerful and awesome by the poets inclusion of the lines 'Burnt the fire' and 'Twist the sinews' and indeed likens it to something made by a blacksmith and therefore made by metal and fire. ...read more.

Middle

He is unable to understand, therefore, how God could have created both the tiger and the lamb. It is this message, which he tries to impress upon the reader 'The Lamb' is a two verse poem, also with rhyming couplets and repetitions of lines emphasising the soft, gentle and warm tone of the lamb itself. Blake seems to be writing his poem as if he were a child, repeating phrases and using simplistic English. The poet describes the lamb by appealing to the human senses. The setting surrounding the lamb is a valley with a stream running through it through the poet saying 'By the stream' and 'all the vales'. This gives a scene of beauty, almost as if the poet is attempting to describe the Garden of Eden, a place where God himself would dwell, unlike 'The Tyger' and its setting of a forest at night, a setting which would have been seen in its historical context as a scene of evil. The sense of touch is appealed to by the description of the lamb as having 'Softest clothing wooly bright'. The lamb's voice is described as 'tender' unlike the harsh roar of a tiger. Soft adjectives build up an atmosphere of calm and serenity. When the tiger and the lamb are contrasted side by side, they do give a stark comparison of human nature, the meek and the vicious, showing that there is no progression without opposites. ...read more.

Conclusion

The setting which is presumably Eden further adds to the calm, gentle feeling of the poem, when coupled with the nursery rhyme, childlike writing style of the poem, shown by the lack of question marks and repetitions of lines makes this scene to one of complete innocence. The refrain-like repetition of the final two lines shows his religious side. Pace also plays a part, with assonance on gentle sounds slowing the pace down to that of a plodding animal. By contrast, the regular beat of 'The Tyger' creates the feel of a predator stalking its pray, showing its experience of hunting and killing, stalking its pray 'in the shadows of the night'. 'The Lamb' is appropriately placed in 'Songs of Innocence', as the setting and description of the lamb make it seem to be like its coat 'wooly bright' and clean, the picture of innocence itself. 'The Tyger' also deserves its place in 'Songs of Experience' due to the fact that this predator is an experienced killer, hardened its experience like the adult who Blake is writing through. Also 'The Lamb' is written through the perspective of a child and typifies Blake's childhood religious beliefs, and 'The Tyger' is the poet showing his beliefs as an adult, not taking anything in his religious views as fact, but questioning them. 'The Lamb is also included in 'Songs of Innocence' because the lamb in the poem is a representation of Jesus, who was innocent use the lamb in the poem is a representation of Jesus, who was innocent yet became a sacrifice for humans. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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