“The Tyger” and “The Lamb”

Blake's painting of

Blake’s painting of “The Tyger”

With his poems “The Tyger,” from Songs of Experience, and “The Lamb,” from Songs of Innocence, William Blake provides two contrary views of creation. Both poems ponder the creation of their subject and offer different perspectives of the nature of creation and goodness. The two poems also differ in their structures. While both follow rather simple rhyme schemes, the repetition and diction used in “The Lamb” appears more childlike, while the language of “The Tyger” invokes more imagery and appears more sophisticated. The poems, however, mirror one another in the questions they pose. “The Lamb” repeatedly asks, “Little lamb who made thee?/ Dost thou know who made thee?” Similarly, “The Tyger” asks “What immortal hand or eye/ Could frame thy fearful symmetry?” Unlike “The Tyger,” “The Lamb” offers a definite answer, stating that God made the lamb. “The Tyger” is more unclear, asking “Did he who made the Lamb make thee?” These two poems struggle to reconcile the fearsomeness of the tiger with the innocence of the lamb, questioning whether the same maker could be responsible for two such vastly different creations.

Blake's painting of

Blake’s painting of “The Lamb”These two poems struggle to reconcile the fearsomeness of

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