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William Blake’s Poems The Lamb and The Tyger

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    William Blake’s poems, “The Lamb” and “The Tyger,” show two opposite extremes: the ultimate good and the contrasting evil aspects of human existence. The ideas of innocence and experience show the different views of creation. These differences can be seen through not only the meaning of the poem, but also through word choice and imagery. The first images that appear to the reader come right from reading the title. Most people see a lamb as being a sweet, innocent animal. The poem describes the lamb as having “a tender voice”(7) and being meek and mild. The lamb can do no harm. However, the tiger is a fierce and ferocious creature. Its “fearful symmetry” makes the animal seem so exotic. These two contrasting animals first set the mood for the poems.

    When reading these two poems aloud, one can notice the differences in the two poems just by the sound of them. “The Lamb” has a singsong nursery rhyme cadence to it. The lines flow together very smoothly and calmly. A sense of innocence can be heard from this poem. However, even though both poems use couplets to create that sense of rhythm and continuity, the several questions that are asked in “The Tyger” makes is seem more demanding. The lines are still regular and rhyming, but unlike “The Lamb,” the rhythm, as well as the consonants, is heavy. This leads into word choice and how they sound.

    Good and evil are conflicting aspects of everyman’s nature. Without this, innocence and experience, man is not whole. These two states have to deal with creation, which is shown in these poems.


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