Blake's "The Lamb" is from his book, Songs of Innocence, while "The Tyger" is from Songs of Experience.  Consider these poems together, and in a well-developed paragraph, compare and contrast, addressing the following:
 
- What message does Blake seem to be conveying with these poems?  How do these poems reflect the characteristics of Romantic poetry?  

- What poetic devices (figurative language, symbolism, imagery, diction, tone, etc...) did Blake use, and how do they help convey his Romantic themes?

When you have finished, be sure to critically read a classmates post, and in a reply, point out something that you agree with as well as something that perhaps they didn't think of or you saw differently.

Your initial post is worth 10pts, and the follow up reply is worth 5pts.
 


Comments

Kelti Lorence
02/06/2013 2:52pm

Through both poems, Blake speaks of who made the lamb, and the tyger. The Lamb is more religiously based, and seems to be telling instead of asking, as with The Tyger. Blake could be reminding both of their origin and who they have to thank for being alive. He describes both as having individual personality, a common theme of Romanticism. The lamb is said to have its own voice, while the tyger is described as fearless and uncontained.

These poems contain quite a bit of imagery that helps shape the ideas we take away from the text and sets the tone. The Lamb, "Gave thee clothing of delight,/ Softest clothing wooly bright;/ Gave thee such a tender voice." brings an animal that is not very majestic, the emphasis on common people, and sets the image of a delicate, enjoyable creature who is cared for lovingly, not refined to any one person's rules. The Tyger as well illustrates "In what distant deeps or skies./ Burnt the fire of thine eyes?/ On what wings dare he aspire?/ What the hand, dare seize the fire?", conveying how it is also given free roam of the earth. The questions of who would dare to create the tyger also questions all humans as to who would dare to think they create people or have the right to control others.

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Mackenzie Cyr
02/06/2013 5:03pm

I did not consider the thought of the speaker reminding the Lamb and Tyger of their origin, it makes sense though and I agree. I also really enjoyed your last thought about why would people dare think they have any right to control others. Interesting thoughts!

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Mackenzie Cyr
02/06/2013 4:59pm

More than anything, I believe that Blake is trying to convey the idea of good versus evil; innocence versus wickedness and sin. When the speaker is questioning who made the Lamb he talks of the kindness of the maker who "Gave thee clothing of delight" and that "Gave thee life and bid thee feed." The poem is peaceful and sweet, therefore conveying an idea of goodness and innocence. In 'The Tyger', however, the speaker conveys the idea of evil and sin because of how his possible maker is described. The thought of fire in this poem makes one think of hell-where "sin" goes and in line seven, "On what wings dare he aspire?" one may think of the devil because at one time he was an angel. These poems reflect the concepts of Romantic poetry because of the individualism and "natural" man within both the Lamb and Tyger. They show the true core of man and their emotions based on the "maker" they allow to control their life.
Diction and imagery all contribute to the poem and help convey their romantic themes. The diction in 'The Lamb' are soft, comforting words that show the emotion tied to romanticism. The imagery in 'The Tyger', such as "When the stars threw down their spears, and water'd heaven with their tears..." show the natural world with a twist of imagination.

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02/06/2013 5:22pm

I definitely agree with you that these poems form a great contrast, particularly through diction and imagery. I really liked how you took note of imagery; I missed some of that. I didn't think about how the lamb and the tyger showed man in relation to their creator. I thought of it as more of a questioning of the existance of evil in relation to good.

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Brady
02/06/2013 8:39pm

I definitely agree with the strong religious ties that they both show. I like the connections you found to the nature of men which is something I didn't think of. Does the thought that they are allowing the "maker" control their life contradict the romantic era because they disallowed reason and let religion control their life?

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Sam Farmer
02/06/2013 10:28pm

I agree that the poems are good vs. evil. I wonder if Blake wanted the poem to be about a good and evil side of God or God and Satan....

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Kelti Lorence
02/07/2013 1:57pm

I agree Sammy! I think the poems represent the battle between God and Satan (ie. the human battle between good and evil).

Tristan
02/11/2013 7:11pm

I like how you interpreted the good vs. evil theme rather than a specific issue. I also agree with your diction point, that defiantly adds something to the poems.

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02/06/2013 5:12pm

Both "The Lamb" and "The Tyger" address the idea of innocence as opposed to experience. The messages of both seem to pertain to this. Ideas involving nature also occur in both poems. In addition, "The Tyger" seems to also address injustice, unlike "The Lamb." These aspects are all characteristics of Romantic literature. The way that these ideas are expressed is what causes the poems to differ so greatly. This causes their messages to differ slightly. The message of "The Lamb" revolves around the praise of peace, innocence, purity -- essentially all that is good in this world. In "The Tyger," the underlying theme seems to be summed up in the question, "Why?" The speaker wonders at how such a terrible thing could have come from the same hand as the lamb, wonders at how the two could possibly exist together in the same world. He expresses this in lines 19-20 of "The Tyger:""Did he smile his work to see?/ Did he who made the Lamb make thee?" The speaker, in this way, compares good and evil, or innocence and jadedness, peace and violence, asking, in "The Tyger" why such bad exists and how the God who made something so beautiful and peaceful as the lamb could have made something as dark, fiery, and cruel as the tyger.

The most obvious of the poetic devices that William Blake used in these two poems is symbolism. Both the lamb and the tyger are used as symbols to represent ideas, particularly that of innocence in the case of the lamb and experience in the case of the tyger. This is the most direct way that Blake communicates his themes. In addition to symbolism, Blake also uses diction to reinforce the themes that the symbolism serves to create. For example, Blake uses words such as "delight," "bright," "tender," "vales," and "meek" in "The Lamb," while in "The Tyger" his word choice is far different, consisting of words like "burning," fearful," "distant," "twist," "dread," and "deadly." These words in turn create contrasting images for the poems: sunlight, meadows, and rural country for "The Lamb" and darkness, fire, and confinement for "The Tyger." All of this contributes to the conveying of Blake's Romantic themes.

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Mary Sine
02/06/2013 10:21pm

I agree with you that the poems address the idea of innocence over experience. I had not thought of associating the tyger with confinement, but it does kind of make sense. Great job!

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Mary Sine
02/06/2013 7:27pm

"The Lamb" and "The Tyger" are comparing innocence and experience, respectively. Blake tells the Lamb who made it, but instead with the Tyger is asking who could have possibly made it. The comparison of the Lamb, who is innocent, pure, and peaceful, to the Tyger, who is experienced, fierce, and dark, is something universal, something that everyone can understand. The question that Blake seems to be asking through these comparisons is how could something so small and innocent be made by the same maker as something so different, more powerful and experienced? Both of these poems focus on creatures of nature, which is a characteristic of Romantic poetry. Imagination and feeling are also key parts of these poems with both of them addressing something that can’t answer back.

Blake’s diction in both of these poems differs greatly. In “The Lamb” he uses words like “delight,” “bright,” “rejoice,” ”mild,” “tender,” and “bless.” Whereas in “The Tyger” he uses words like “dare,” “burning,” “dread,” “deadly,” “furnace,” and “fire.” These word choices both send very different messages, the first making the lamb calm and happy, while the tyger is made more terrifying and fierce. His choices in diction fill the poems with feeling, and also make the poems more imaginative and mystical. “The Lamb” instills feelings of calm and peace, while “The Tyger” instills feelings of incredulousness and almost fear. The imagery created in “The Tyger” with fires and furnaces being used to forge the fearful animal. For example, in the fourth stanza the second and third line create this image, “In what furnace was thy brain?/ What the anvil? what dread grasp.” “The Lamb,” however, creates images of a nice, beautiful, singing valley, with lines like, “Gave thee such a tender voice,/ Making all the vales rejoice!” Both of these images are mystical, a dark forge in “The Tyger” and a singing valley in “The Lamb,” and very imaginative, both themes of Romantic poetry.

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Megan Wall
02/06/2013 10:51pm

I agree that by Blake comparing the innocent with the experienced, it made the poem more relate-able because both are themes that we all see, and both are parts of living and growing up; we go from innocent to in some way experienced. I had not thought of how Blake went from telling the Lamb who formed it to asking the Tyger of how it came to be. That was a fantastic detail to pick up on, because from there comes the meaning that you concluded, which was that Blake was nearly questioning how the same Creator could make both the innocent and the experienced. I had interpreted the poems more as Blake marveling that the same Creator could make both the fierce and the docile, but I enjoy your different view of the poems!

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Brady
02/06/2013 8:34pm

These poems seem to me as polar opposites. In "The Lamb" he questions "Who made thee?" saying only God could have made something so pure while in "The Tyger" he questions how something so firey and passionate could be made. "The Lamb has a way more light-hearted feel using words such as "delight" and "bright" while "The Tyger takes a darker approach using words like "fire" and "dread". The symbol of fire has particular meaning because it means passion and aggression. These are emotions and strongly tied to the Romantic era. Both these poems reflect the Romantic era because the deal with imagination and religion over logic and reason. They are both strongly religious using references like the Lamb representing Jesus. Nature is strongly addressed in both of these using the symbols of lamb and tiger to present imagination and ideas. Nature and religion are connected because he uses nature to represent religion. These poems are both far out from reality which gives them a sort of mystical feel about them which makes me think that the clear meaning in them may not have been the whole story.

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Jacob Jones
02/06/2013 10:25pm

I agree that the two poems are polar opposites and that "The Lamb" has a more light-hearted words and that "The Tyger" takes a darker approach. I also agree that the lamb represents Jesus and that nature is addressed in both of the poems.

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Hannah H
02/07/2013 8:36am

I really enjoyed your thoughts. You touched on things that I did not see when reading the poems the first time.

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Jacob Jones
02/06/2013 10:15pm

The message that Blake is trying to convey in “The Lamb” and “The Tyger” is innocence vs. experience. In “The Lamb” Blake uses the Lamb as symbol of Jesus. The lamb also symbolizes gentleness, innocence, and peace. In “The Tyger” Blake uses symbols that are opposite of “The Lamb.” The tiger represents evil in the world while the lamb represents the opposite. The speaker in “The Lamb” asks “Little Lamb who made thee” and in “The Tyger,” the speaker asks, “What immortal hand or eye,/ Could frame thy fearful symmetry?” In both poems, the lamb and the tiger are being asked questions and both are started with one that is similar. About who made them or their origins. “The Lamb” and “The Tyger” show that God can be both gentle and fearsome.
In “The Lamb” Blake uses language that is hopeful and soft to help express the theme of innocence. Blake also uses imagery to support the innocence theme, “Gave thee clothing of delight, Softest clothing wooly bright.” In “The Tyger” Blake use language that is dark and dreary to help express the theme of experience. The imagery that Blake uses also is dark and dreary, “Could twist the sinews of thy heart? /And when thy heart began to beat.”

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Sam Farmer
02/06/2013 10:23pm



"The Lamb" and "The Tyger" are romantic poems from William Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience. These literary works are romantic because they exemplify the idea of creation and a supernatural being. The two poems contradict each other. In "The Lamb," God creates a sweet and gentle animal, so therefore he is considered sweet and gentle himself. In "The Tyger" God creates a terrifying animal, so therefore he is considered terrifying himself. The two poems, being complete opposites, give us insight into the author's idea of God. Through his poems, William Blake expresses his belief that God is both evil and good.

Blake uses vivid imagery such as, "fire", "hammer", "furnace", "chain", "anvil", and "spears" in "The Tyger." His word choice creates a darker connotation than that of "The Lamb." In "The Lamb" Blake uses a simple language. Words such as "delight", "bright", "tender", and "rejoice" give this poem a childlike feel and optimistic connotation. Williams uses symbolism as his strongest poetic device to convey his Romantic theme. The lamb is a symbol for Jesus, and the tiger is a symbol for sin. Both of these having to do with religion and imagination which is a theme of the Romantic era.

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Kelti Lorence
02/07/2013 1:56pm

I agree with all your references to The Lamb. However, I think the Tyger wasn't portraying God as terrifying, but the human population as so. Religion was obviously used in both poems, but it seemed to me Blake was presenting these works to the public as questions of self-reflection; not as much sharing his view on religion. In The Tyger, he mentions the forge and its tools, a human addition to the earth God created. He questions their motives and has people considering how they came to be so brutal and terrifying, like the tyger.

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Emily
02/10/2013 8:26pm

I didn't think about the two animals reflecting God. It was a good point.

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Megan Wall
02/06/2013 10:42pm

Blake’s poem, The Lamb, reveals the irony that the God who made the lamb, which is symbolic of a child, came to earth as The Lamb, in other words He was born into the world as a child. The Tyger, another poem by William Blake conveys the message that the same Creator that crafted the docile lamb also made something as fierce as the tyger. When the two poems are read together however, they melt together to form the message that all things, whether innocent or experienced, come from the same Creator. The mysterious and pensive tone in both poems, the innocence symbolized by the lamb and the experience symbolized by the tyger all point to Romantic characteristics. The over arching Romantic-style is seen in the differing tones between the two poems, that is The Lamb has a light tone while The Tyger is written with a more mysterious tone. The imagery given in both pieces also point out the Romantic-style such as when The Lamb says, “by the stream and o’er the mead; gave thee clothing of delight, softest clothing wooly bright,” and when The Tyger offers imagery in stanza five line one, “when the stars threw down their spears.” The fact that these poems were written in the same book and a lamb is referenced in stanza five line four of The Tyger, it is as if Blake wanted the reader to make the connection between the two.

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Celeste Yahr
02/06/2013 11:41pm

Megan, I really liked how you put that what he was saying. That everything comes from the same maker. I didn’t think about that approach. Also I totally agree with you on the tones of the poems.

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Celeste Yahr
02/06/2013 11:33pm

In both poems the speaker is asking a series of questions. In The Lamb Blake seems to know that everything is created by good and it is good and innocent like a lamb. In The Tyger he switches and begins to question how the same person who created the lamb could create this horribly beast. Since The Lamb is in his book Songs of Innocents and The Tyger is in Songs of Experience it seems as if both are actually talking about the world and the people in it. When he was younger he probably wanted to think the best of people and that they were all good. Then when he wrote The Tyger he had experienced the world more and saw how people really were. These poems reflect Romantic poetry in that they deal with nature. Both subjects revolve around nature which was common in Romantic Poetry. In The Lamb Blake uses a calmer more peaceful tone which portrays the innocents he was trying to show. The Tyger, however does not have this calm tone it is more so of hopelessness because he cannot understand why something so terrible would be made. This goes into Romantic poetry because it makes the tone depressing or melancholy.

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Carley
02/12/2013 9:10am

I like your thoughts on the similarities and differences between the two poems. However, I do not think the tone of "The Tyger" is nessecarily hopeless, just darker.

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Hannah H
02/07/2013 8:34am

In “The Lamb” Blake conveys innocence by saying, “Dost thou know who made thee? / Gave thee such a tender voice,” He implies that God made such a creature as the lamb innocent and sweet. “The Tiger” on the other hand describes darkness, power, and control. The author seems to be questioning if the same god could make the lamb, so innocent and true and also the tiger, full of darkness, when he says, “What immortal hand or eye/ Could frame thy fearful summitry/” “Did he smile his work to see? / Did he who make the Lamb make thee?” These poems reflect Romantic poetry by expressing nature and revealing a spiritual or religious application. Words such as “furnace” contribute in creating imagery. Both poems consist of religious symbols and Blake’s choice of diction creates these contrasting tones of innocence and corruption.

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Trevor
02/10/2013 9:58pm

I like how you see "The Tyger" as having control in it. However, I don't agree with the power part. It is more like Blake is questioning the power of God. He is asking if God is really in control of this wild beast.

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Trevor
02/09/2013 12:00pm

The “The Tyger” and “The Lamb” are two very different poems; however, they both address the same Romantic theme of innocence vs. experience. “The Lamb” is a pleasant poem to read because of its smooth diction. Words like delight, wooly, and tender help the reader to experience the wonder tone this poem promotes. Blake is saying that anyone or anything besides a wonderful God could create something as perfect as a lamb. It is interesting that Blake uses a lamb to describe the wonder he has for God even though a lamb is already a common symbol for God. On the other hand, “The Tyger” uses harsh and negative diction like fire, chain, hammer, spears and tears to create a darker tone. Blake is questioning how society can corrupt such an innocent thing like a lamb into a terrifying tiger. These poems are very interesting and I enjoyed reading them both.

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Kendall
02/10/2013 3:26pm

I agree with you Trevor and I think it is interesting how you questioned the use of the lamb. Also I think the Lamb represents a new baby being born, pure and innocent, and the tyger represents adults that have been currupted due to the sin in the world.

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Kendall Maslen
02/10/2013 3:21pm

I think the over all message Blake is trying to convey is the idea of Innocence versus experience. In the poem "The Lamb" Blake take more of a calm tender tone where as in "The Tyger" he takes more of a fierce abrupt tone. We see the innocence displayed in the lamb when he says, "Gave thee such a tender voice, making all the vales rejoice." Blake questions who made such a pure creature and then answers with confidence that God is the only one who could parent such a creation. In "The Tyger" we see an opposite view. Here Blake also questions who created this immortal creature, "Did he who made the Lamb make thee?" But upon asking this question he doesn't answer with such confidence but instead answers with more questions. The tyger represents experience because he is dark and jaded, unlike the lamb which is pure and innocent. Both these poems "The Lamb" and "The Tyger" reflect on the romantic theme of rural life vs. urban life. The lamb represents purity of the world through the natural environment it is surrounded by. "Gave thee life & bid thee feed, By the stream & o'er the mead." These lines display the rural life of the lamb. In "The Tyger" we can identify this urban life when Blake says, "What the hammer? What the chain? In what furnace was thy brain?" He is describing industry and urbanization which contradicts the rural life of the lamb.

Through the use of diction such as fire, seize, and dread we can see the corruption that the tyger represents. The world started out like the lamb, pure and innocent but through the sin of people it has been corrupted into a deceitful world. The smooth diction seen in "The Lamb", such as bright, tender, and rejoice represents the beginning of our world. naive and meek, just as a child is.

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Emily
02/10/2013 8:24pm

In both the Tyger and the Lamb, Blake is asking about who created each of the animals. They reflect the characterisitics of Romantic Poetry by the poems both being related to nature and being very passionate and emotional.
Poetic devices used are symbolism (The lamb being representative of Jesus), Tone (The Lamb being very light, The Tyger being darker), and imagery (In the Lamb: "Softest clothing wooly bright"; The Tyger: "In what distant deeps or skies burnt the fire of thine eyes") And they conveyed his Romantic themes by putting more emotion into it.

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Mika
02/11/2013 6:51pm

Good point about being passionate and emotional, as romantic poets were very passionate.

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Carley Crow
02/11/2013 11:41am

In “The Tyger” and “The Lamb”, William Blake compares innocence vs. experience, purity vs. wickedness, and in general good vs. bad. In “The Lamb”, Blake speaks to the Lamb like a child, telling it where it came from and compares it to Jesus. However, in “The Tyger”, Blake questions the origin of the Tyger and asks whether or not if “he who made the Lamb make thee?” These poems reflect Romantic poetry because in both of them, Blake is using these animals to address society’s problems. Like most Romantic poets, Blake represents nature and its purity with the Lamb and represents unnatural things like the Industrial Revolution and other unnatural things with “The Tyger”.
Blake uses strong imagery to make a point of how society has affected the world. He uses sweet, soft words in “The Lamb” to emphasize how innocent nature is (delight, softest, tender) while in “The Tyger” he uses hard words that have negative connotations (twist, dread, fearful). Blake also creates strong images with his symbolism. While the Lamb is pure, innocent, and natural, the Tyger is twisted, fearful, and dreaded. The Lamb is there to represent everything good in nature and the Tyger shows all the unnatural changes that people have made in nature.

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Lacayah
02/12/2013 12:27am

I like how you related it to the Industrial Revolution.

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Mika
02/11/2013 6:49pm

Blake uses "The Tyger" and "The Lamb" to contrast experience vs. innocence and evil vs. good. Like a romantic poem, he makes nature ("The Lamb") appear innocent, joyful, and good while the industrial revolution ("The Tyger") is put out to be fearful, evil, and dark.
In "The Tyger" he questions what "could twist the sinews of thy heart?" He also uses very negative words, such as "deadly terrors," to give the entire poem a scary and dark tone. Blake makes it clear that "The Tyger", or the industrial revolution, is bad and should be feared (just as romantic poetry is suppose to be). "The Lamb" has a light and playful tone, as Blake compared it to a "meek and mild... little child." He places nature next to God, as he says "Little Lamb God bless thee." Obviously, nature is the "good guy".

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Tristan
02/11/2013 7:06pm

William Blake adresses romantic topics such as innocence vs.
experience and includes refrences to industrialization vs. nature in his poems "The Lamb" and "The Tyger." In "The Lamb" the speaker addresses a lamb, lambs are symbols for innocence (amongst other things), the speaker also adresses it like it lacks experience. This poem conveys a message of innocence and nature. The Tyger on the other hand, gives a very dark and tense impression. The message conveyed is "who could make such a fearsome thing, what could have it come from, how could it have been made." The Tyger in the poem is the subject of this message, but the tyger could be a symbol for the new industrial civilization. The speaker refers to hammers, anvils, and forges; these could be symbols for the "idea" of industry that led to the before mentioned society.
Blake also used imagery to present a mood for the poems, in "The Lamb" the reader gets an image of a sweet, innocent lamb that is pure and good; something natural. "The Tyger" gives a dark and menacing image of some beast forged by who knows what from who knows where; something unnatural.

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Lacayah
02/12/2013 12:25am

In William Blake's "The Tyger" and "The Lamb," Blake makes a strong contrast between two very different ideas. In "The Lamb," Blake uses the lamb as a symbol for innocence, purity, and ideal human nature. The lanb is almost child-like and that's how he addresses it. He, with gentle diction, tells the little lamb who created it just as you would softly answer one of a childs many questions. He also answers the lamb because I lamb must be lead by a shepard and it only knows what comes natural to it. In this way, Blake uses the lamb as a symbol for the ideal human nature, a common element in Romantic poetry. He shows that humans, in being like lambs, should be "tender," "meek & mild," and like a "little child". Also that they should flock together and let themselves be guided by their simple natural instinct and their creator. With the language and tone he used, it is evident that he wanted readers to admire the lamb and its qualities. However, in "The Tyger," Blake greatly contrasts "The Lamb." He uses the tiger as a symbol for experience, wickedness, and human nature in human society. The tiger preys on other animals just as people often prey on others. A tiger lives a generally solitary life guided by themselves and is very territorial just as many people are. A tiger, because fierceness, never has to be humble. It does as it pleases, learns through its own experiences, and is everything that the lamb isn't. In the poem Blake badgers the tiger with the question on its creation and never gives it an answer. By doing this with the agressive diction that he used, it seems almost that he already knows the answer, but wants to push the tiger to respond that it was created in darkness. And then seems to push it further to its breaking point where it lashes out and reveals its wicked nature. By doing this he seems to show what he thinks that society will do when forced to examine their dark core.

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Ariana
02/12/2013 9:22am

Lacayah, you brought up really good/ interseting points about the Tyger. I never would have thought about it like that. I love how you said, "By doing this with the agressive diction that he used, it seems almost that he already knows the answer, but wants to push the tiger to respond that it was created in darkness."

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Ariana
02/12/2013 9:20am

In "The Tyger" and "The Lamb" Blake contrasts the ideas of experience and innocence. In " The Lamb" Blake symbolizes it for innocence and purity." The Lamb" repersents everything in nature and how nature is innocent and calm. As if responding to a child the tone is sweet and kind; also the questions are answered whereas in " The Tyger" the questions are not answered. This is because with experience there can be more than one answer and the speaker is saying figure it out on your own. "The Tyger" repersents experince and evil and how man ruined nature which created a dark and corrupted world.
Both poems reflect the industrial revolution. "The Tyger" hints the urbanization is corrupt and that God created this world and man destroyed it. The tones in both of these poems are easily found. "The Lamb" brings a sweet innocent tone while "The Tyger" brings a dark and meschivous tone.

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Remembrance
11/10/2013 11:09am

Thank u all,i didn't understand the poems at all but now i do understand the poems.

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