”The Lamb” and ”The Tyger” by William Blake
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“The Lamb” and “The Tyger” are both poems of deep meaning that explain the two sides of humanity. “The Lamb” on one side explains the good side of human life, while “The Tyger” refers to the dark side. “The Lamb” is associated with religious beliefs and its significance could be traced back to the early times of Jesus. “The Tyger” is a poem that sees life through the eyes of a child and thus creates a loss of innocence when perceiving the world. William Blake’s poems of “The Lamb” and “The Tyger” reflect the creation of the world in which people take different paths to experience life as they wish. One path is that of pure, divine and natural connotation, while the other one is that of rebellion, excessive freedom and impure conduct. “The Lamb” and “The Tyger” are both poems that reflect a unique perception of the world through different stages in universal experiences based on the good and the dark side of life associated with honest and evil actions of the individual natural world.
“The Lamb” is a poem that refers to the good side of the human soul which is full of pure actions that are associated with heaven. This unique characteristic of “The lamb” is the mirror image of Jesus Christ and is associated with the lamb’s innocence. “The Lamb” is pure, beautiful, innocent, warm and after all very much like Christ. “The Lamb” is also gentle and naive, and these specific characteristics are the essentials to bring “The Lamb” closer to heaven. This Lamb could be represented with a child who is getting involved with the world and its surrounding and does so in an innocent way. “He is meek & he is mild, he became a little child: I a child and thou a Lamb” (Mack, 2267). In this quote, one can see the relation between “The Lamb” and the child and thus observe its characteristics as being meek, mild and modest. The child just like “The Lamb” poses similar features that attribute them to an encounter with heaven. Their qualities are ideal for the perfect society in which individuals devote their passions, desires and hopes to God.
“The Lamb” has unique features that place him in the highest possible stage for excellence and perfection. “The Lamb” is a poem that is referring to the good and honest side of the human soul since it brings to mind innocence, purity, divinity and loving things” (Brisman, 68). “The Lamb” does not yet know the bad habits of society since it has not yet experienced the world as it is. Its innocence is acquired through his un-influenced mind that is still pure and not yet shaped. God created “The Lamb” as a symbol of honour, pureness and sinlessness. “The nature of “The Lamb” is a reflection of its creator” (Hazard, 229). This reflection of “The Lamb” is associated with the Master as both have the same qualities of life and try to expand them into the world. “The Lamb” just like God wants to bring this divinity and purity into society and make people conscious of the positive outcomes it brings while being honest, good and reaching heaven.
“The Tyger”, on the other hand, deals with the development of evil actions that lead people to hell. This Tyger could also be represented as an adult whom is desperate for experiencing new things in life and does so with authority over his own self. As an adult, he or she engages in evil activities that lead them to new findings for their experimental life that put them in hell. “The Tyger” is also associated with terror and obscurity in his actions. “Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright in the forests of the night” (Mack, 2270). This quote clearly shows that “The Tyger” is often planning evil things that are hidden in the forests and will come alive after some time. “The Tyger” does his harmful activities at night when no one is watching. Darkness is usually associated with fear and panic and “The Tyger” is excellent at this. These characteristics of “The Tyger” are the ones that will lead him to this horrible state encountered in hell while searching for evil behaviour.
“The Tyger” is a wordly and cynical creature that engages in bad activities for the satisfaction or the pleasure of evil experiences. As an adult, “The Tyger” has gained enough experience and has perceived many things in life that could lead him to make horrible decisions. This powerful and immortal being has become a beast capable of the worst things ever to happen to human beings. “The tyger brings to mind viciousness, cunning, danger, or death” (Zachary, 90). The worst possible creature ever invented was “The Tyger”, since it poses all the bad qualities for individuals. This creature is also a threat to humanity, since it could influence other individuals into adopting these qualities and thus worsen human innocence.
Both poems “The Lamb” and “The Tyger” also have similar characteristics between the two that make them of the same nature. Both poems talk about the creation of good or evil as they experience the world. They also have a creator or a Master that invented this evilness and goodness. God invented “The Lamb” and in consequence the goodness of the world. At the same time, God also invented the evilness of humanity identified with “The Tyger” as individuals have the choice to build up their own path that they will follow through life. One can choose to follow the honest and innocent path of goodness but at the same time has the choice of going along the evil path that leads them to hell. Both sides of the soul, good and evil, were then invented by the same creator and thus share a commonality of freedom of expression while acting the way they want with no strings attached to desired expectations from others or obligations to perform certain way.
God wanted individuals to have as much choice as possible and to determine their own destiny with the ability to change it if they wanted to. These poems of “The Lamb” and “The Tyger” represent both the human choices that one must make in order to continue with life as it approaches. Both poems also have a common theme of independency as they do not try to influence people into performing such way, but instead they express their views and expose them up there for individuals to decide which road to take. “The Lamb” and “The Tyger” are the perfect examples of a diverse society in which good and evil prevail and the chance to become a better person is always available and will always be an option.
In conclusion, the poems by William Blake reflect different perceptions of life through different individual experiences. “The Lamb”, on one hand, deals with moral and religious views of the world that lead people to achieve a divine life. “The Tyger”, on the other hand, is more concerned with rebellion and evilness to achieve the goods of life. Both poems try to have different and unique views of the world based on their own experiences. “The Lamb” perceives the world as a form of innocence with proper guidance to take advantage of the benefits of life. To contrast, “The Tyger” is concerned with experiencing the world through different measures that lead him to experience the goods of nature. “The Tyger” does not follow a divine path for his actions, but instead a sequence of evil activities that lead to experiences outside moral creation. Both poems deal with different senses of the world that individuals perceive during their lives while deciding which path to take, the good or the evil one.
Brisman, Susan. Modern Critical Interpretations: Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1987.
Hazard, Adams. A Reading of the Shorter Poems. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1963.
Mack, Maynard. The Lamb. The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. New York: W.W. Norton, 1997. 2267.
Mack, Maynard. The Tyger. The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. New York: W.W. Norton, 1997. 2270-71.
Zachary, Leader. Reading Blake’s Songs. Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1981.