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Analysis of William Blakes The Tyger and The Lamb from


Song of Experience (1794) and Song of Innocence (1789)

Blakes poetry contained an honesty against which


the whole world conspires because it is unpleasant.
- T. S. Eliot

William Blake was a mystic poet and this Mystic movement of his
mind required Metaphor, he saw no likeness but identities, so the
images and symbols are found galore (plentiful) in his poems. The
image of generally viewed as singles in dimension while the symbol
as more complex. Legions and Cazamian remark that Blakes
poetry deals in the subtlest (illustrated) of symbolism with the
skill that can not be matched. In the Song of Innocence (1789)
his symbols are largely drawn from the Bible, but in the Song of
Experience (1794) he often uses symbols of his own making, and
his meaning is more elusive.

The Lamb and The Tyger are both representative poems of


Blake. They celebrate two contrary states of the human soul-
innocence and experience. The lamb celebrates the divinity and
innocence of not merely the child but also of the beast harmless
creatures on earth, viz the lamb. The Lamb explores the
innocence of childrens understanding of God and the natural
world. The child asks the lamb weather it knows its merciful
creator, the tiger giver of its soft easy clothings or its tender
voice which fills the valets with music and pleasure. But the child
does not wait for the answers. He answers the question himself.
He refers to the meekness and gentleness of God as the lambs
creator. He is one who calls himself a lamb. He is meek and mild
and comes on earth as a little child. However, the child concludes
wishing the lamb Gods blessings. The poem is a simple one but its
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apparent simplicity simply intensifies its deeper meaning. Here


the creator is identified with the created. It is written in a lyric
style of great freshness, simplicity, and
directness.Both series of poems take on deeper resonances when
read in conjunction. Innocence and Experience, the two contrary
states of the human soul, are contrasted in such companion
pieces as The Lamb and The Tyger. Blakes subsequent
poetry develops the implication that true innocence is impossible
without experience, transformed by the creative force of the
human imagination.
The Tyger may be interrupted as an allegory reflecting the
opposing powers of God and Satan of good and evil. Both Tiger
and Lamb are the visible parts of Gods creation. God created the
tiger, the aggressor and the lamb the prey. The coexistence of
fierceness represented by the tiger and the gentleness
represented by the lamb is a mystery, a mystery of contrariness.
The violent strength alarming in its possibilities of
destructiveness is seemingly an open challenge to the idea of a
benign creator. Early in the song of Innocence, Blake sets his
poem about lamb with its artless question.

Little lamb, who made thee?


Dost thou know who made thee?

Similarly early in the song of experience to quote C.N.Bowra


(From the Romantic Imagination): Blake sets his poem about the
tyger with its more frightening and more fighter question. The
lamb and the tyger are symbol for two different states of the
human soul: when the lamb is destroyed by experience the tyger
in needed to restore the world.
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The images in the poems again added significance and magnitude


when they move into the arena of symbolism Blake retaining the
old spelling Tiger is worth noticing for its seems to emphasize
the symbolic quality and priest nature of the animal. The metallic
and the clinging image are suggested by the use of the hammer
the chain the anvil. The physical perceptions of the creator at
work wresting with his stupendous creation are suggested by this
shoulder hand and feet. The shape from and physical movement
of the beast have been caught in the phrase fearful symmetry
and the idea of physical immediacy is convey in the line,What the
hand dare seize the fire? For some the tiger stands for the
pervasive evil in the world for others it symbolizes an awful
beauty in creation of the universe. The forest of the night in
which the tiger lurks represents ignorance repression and
superstition. The fire is a symbol of wrath or passion of anger.
The stars too suggests the angels The rebel angels.

Both the lamb and the tiger are created by God. The lamb
represents the milder and gentler aspect. The lamb represents
the calm and pleasant beauty of creation, the tyger its fearful
beauty. The grass contrasts between the nature of the lamb and
the tyger make the poet ask- did he who made the lamb make
thee.

The tyger is Gods wrath as the lamb is his love. The tiger is a
truth lens, natural predatory and it is man own burning passion
shut up within his natural body. The lamb, on the other hand, is
an object of joy. Its bleat fills all the valleys with joy. The
question asked in The Lamb proceeds from the simplicity and
innocence of the questioner (The child). They have nothing of the
bottling and enigmatic nature of the questions asked in the tiger.
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Boehme, the Alchemical philosopher, says the God of the holy


world and the God of the dark world are not two Gods there is
but one God. He himself is all Being. He is evil and good, Heaven
and Hell, light and darkness, eternity and time. Where His love is
hid in anything there His anger is manifested.

Legoius and Cazamian remark that Blakes poetry deals in the


subtlest of symbolism with the skill that can not be matched. The
lamb represents the purity of the divine soul and it is complete in
itself while uninterrupted by experience. Blakes Tyger
represents the fierce of the soul. The tyger stands for the
revolt and wrath. However terrible the tyger may be it is the
different manifestation of Christ.