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Innocence And Experience Essay

1097 words - 5 pages

William Blake was an English poet who was home schooled by his parents and found it difficult to socialize with other children which made him into a bit of an outcast as a child. His family was very religious, but they didn’t always agree with the church’s teachings. Because Blake didn’t have many friends and was schooled at home, he had a lot of time to reflect on life. There is a lot of biblical discourse in Blake’s work especially in his famous books Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. Songs of Innocence has poems that speak of God in a redemptive sense like the teachings from the New Testament where as Songs of Experience are about the God who has created evil and brought ...view middle of the document...

“He is meek & he is mild / He became a little child” (Lines 15-16) meaning Jesus who is the Lamb of God, born of Immaculate Conception. Jesus was a child once and the speaker relates saying, “I a child & thou a lamb/ We are called by his name.” (Lines 17-18), meaning we are all Lambs of God. The speaker then ends the poem by sending God’s blessings to the lamb.
The Lamb is a question and answer song through the innocence of a child, a child who addresses the ideas of nature and of God. Blake is speaking of what he sees are the positive aspects of the conventional beliefs of Christianity. However, it is not an accurate picture of the world because there it doesn’t speak about the presence of evil in our world like it does in his poem The Tyger.
Blake’s The Tyger is the contrast poem to The Lamb. Unlike The Lamb, The Tyger is the harsh version of the world talks about the evil within it. In this poem the word Tyger refers to any large cat that exists. The Tyger is comprised of six rhymed stanzas unlike The Lamb which has only two. The speaker begins the poem by asking the tiger what kind of God would create such a being, “What immortal hand or eye / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?” (Lines 4-5). The speaker questions how such a gentle creature like a Lamb who displays such innocence and purity could exist in a world that also houses ferocious creatures and evil.
Each stanza contains further questions. The speaker wonders what could have sparked the fire within God’s heart to want to create such a thing, “In what distant deeps or skies / Burnt the fire of thine eyes?” (Lines 5-6). He goes on to say, “On what wings dare he aspire? / What the hand, dare seize the fire?” (Lines 7-8), the speaker is asking, who would dare play with such fire and is he happy with his work, “Did he smile his work to see?” (Line 19). Could it really be the same creator made the lamb? Can evil and...

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