Essay of Comparison between The Tiger and The Lamb, poems by William Blake
"The Tiger" and "The Lamb" were poems by William Blake, a poet who
lived in the 18th century. In this essay I am going to compare the two
poems and examine links between them relating to rhymes, patterns and
Blake's background relates on the poems he wrote, and many of his
works reflected his early home life. Blake in his childhood was an
outcast, a loner, and didn't have many friends. His family believed
very strongly in God and were extremely pious Christians but did not
agree with the teachings of the church, so young William Blake often
was made to think about God and his teachings during ...view middle of the document...
In "The Lamb" the poem is mainly very well structured and flows. In
the first verse it has the questions and in the second verse it has
all the answers. If you were only to look at the poem briefly you
would believe it was a children's poem, a hopscotch poem or playground
chant, until you remember that Blake could not have known these as he
did not attend school. The reader would think this because of the
simple vocabulary, and also if you notice, the poem uses soft
alliteration -- "little lamb" -- this gave a much softer feel to the
poem, obviously putting one in mind of children and their innocence.
Blake was a very holy and pious person. He often out biblical
discourse into many of his poems, as I have stated before. I found
some plain biblical tones in "The Lamb" -- the next quotation shows
this point. "He is meek, and he is mild . . . became a little child".
This quotation is from the New Testament, where God was forgiving,
whereas in the Old Testament God was believed to punish people for
their sins i.e. Noah and the Ark, in which God drowns the entire human
race apart from Noah and his family. The fact that there is biblical
content in "The Lamb" is inspiring and was maybe meant to give a sense
of hope. The lack of biblical discussion in "The Tiger" gives the
reader a sense of lack if reprieve, lack of hope and a sense of the
"prison" of the world and all the terrible social injustice going on.
For example, at the time the French and Industrial Revolution were
happening which Blake felt were both negative - he lived in England,
and the country, so both would affect his own life. The Industrial
Revolution affected him in a very different way because people were
forced to work in very poor conditions, for not very much money, and
as a pious man Blake believed in equality and a better life for all.
If the reader so wishes to look at the structure of both of the poems
one will be able to see that "The Tiger" is written in short verses
and "The Lamb" written in longer verses. The rhythm of "The Tiger"
feels and sounds like the rapid beating, much like the heart beating
after running, possibly suggesting the reader is scared. The long slow
verses in "The Lamb" reminds the poem's reader of the slower heart
beat when one is calm, and relaxed. The fast beating, drumming rhythm
pattern could also have been meant to be used to scare the person who
is reading the poem, as it could possibly suggest the marching of the
soldiers in the French Revolution, a thing which everyone in Blake's
time was afraid and wary of. Coupled with the picture of Hell and the
vengeful "Old Testament" God, it would really worry people in Blake's
time because the tiger was a new creature then, only heard about from
explorers and traders to India-- also the mass population of England
in the 18th Century were very superstitious.
I think that the message Blake is trying to give in "The Tiger" (which
was spelt when he wrote...