“Lamb” and “Tiger” by William Blake

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Natalya Shichkina

December 2001

William Blake

(1757 - 1827)

"Lamb" and "Tiger"

William Blake, famous English poet, painter, and engraver, was born on 28 November 1757 in London. His family believed very strongly in God but did not agree with the teachings of the church. As a child, Blake was an outcast person and did not have many friends. During his lonely hours he read the Bible and thought about ideas reflected on life. Most of Blake's poems have a lot of biblical themes.

Blake published two very famous books of poems of "Song of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience". The poems from "Songs of Innocence" are about God who represents love, happiness, and kindness, like Jesus and also shows life as it seems to innocent children. While poems from "Songs of Experience" are about the God who brought all the evil and suffering into the world.

In my essay I am going to contrast and compare the two poems: "The Lamb" from "Songs of Innocence" and "The Tiger" from the "Songs of Experience". Those two poems have a religious theme. Before we even read the poems we can tell by the title that those poems are opposite. The tiger is predator and the lamb is the prey of the tiger. By those two animals William Blake shows two different sides of God, as creator of lamb and tiger.
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In both poems Blake asked the same question. How can the same God make such a monster as a tiger and also make such an innocent animal as a lamb. In "The Tiger" the God represents as a strong, dark and evil nature, because the tiger is a feared creature and the next quotation shows this:

"What the hammer? What the chain?

....Dare its deadly terrors clasp?" (line 13-16)

"The Lamb" is a very symbolic poem. The lamb can symbolize innocence and naivety of a child, or it can represent God himself. The poem gives ...

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