Analysis of The Lamb and The Tyger by William Blake There is no much written on Romanticism, and about all the various experts totally agree upon is that these poems fit into the Romantic genre. It is often called the romantic period, but people are still writing this kind of poetry and song, so I think it is more a type or genre. romantic poetry used images of nature, idealistic ideas and very high spiritualistic emotions. It was very symbolic, much more so than modern poetry, which can actually be about its subject. The symbols were often very esoteric and religious, and the themes of romantic poetry were usually about high ideals. These two poems are both typical romantic poetry. The use symbolism, fantastic imagery and imagery from nature with symbolic contents to explore highly idealistic themes.
The themes of these poems seem to be opposite or complementary, so they are probably connected, even though they were written years apart. The subtitles tell us something here also, since they are a contrast: songs of innocence and songs of experience. Romantic poetry often dealt with these ideals: innocence and purity, and it used symbols in this way. The lamb is the symbol of innocent purity and the Tyger is the symbol of passion, perhaps passion rooted in very human, and therefore base, emotions. The symbolism is really important in these poems. We know that the lamb symbolizes more than just innocence. It symbolizes Jesus Christ. The poet is pointing to his idealistic view of nature and equating it with his spiritual idealism.
Animals in Romantic Poetry Many Romantic poets expressed a fascination with nature in their works. Even more specific than just nature, many poets, such as William Blake, Robert Burns, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge all seemed fascinated with animals. Animals are used as symbols throughout poetry, and are also used to give the reader something to which they can relate. No matter what the purpose, ...
He sees the lamb as a symbol of Christ’s purity and innocence and His perfection as a sacrifice. The symbol here could also stand for the age of innocence, as Blake could see the change as the civilized or developed world was becoming industrialized with machines, mechanized transportation (like trains) and factories, and people were becoming quite materialistic. If this view is true than he was talking to the innocent people of the age just past (the lambs) and the materialistic people of the present (the tygers).
Or maybe he was blaming the factories for the materialism and this is what the tiger symbolizes, fire breathing, smoke belching factories which burned into the night. The personification of the two animals is very much the author’s imagining that they can actually understand him. Of course the reader suspends disbelief, just as we do in movies, to imagine a scene “by the stream and o’er the mead”, which is out in a natural setting, not in the city. I had to look up “mead”, because I had only heard of the honey wine alcoholic beverage, and had never heard the term used to mean meadow, though I guessed at it.
So the setting is in a meadow with a stream, a lovely place to rest, an idyllic setting. Then the poet does not really use any concrete or real descriptive images, but uses very vague adjectives and expects the reader to imagine the scene. For example, “Softest clothing, wooly, bright;” leaves the reader to decide how soft “softest” is and what exactly “bright” is. The word “wooly” is the closest Blake gets to any concrete image there. In addition, just calling the lamb’s skin and coat clothing is very imaginative, as if it is more than we human beings have. Next, William Blake describes the lamb’s voice as “tender”:”Gave thee such a tender voice” That is really idealistic, because I have heard lambs’ voices which are not at all tender, but more like loud and insistent, especially if they cannot find Mama or they are hungry.
... bright; Gave thee such a tender voice, The first line reminds us of how soft lambs wool feels against the skin, ... is read alongside The Tyger.The first verse of The Tyger is famous, and has been used in other ... If we were to look for more symbols, we might see the lamb as salvation and the tiger as ... times, such as childhood. It was a time when poets considered the beauty in the world, and rather ...
However, when we read this, we hear a tiny little “baaaa” or maybe “maaaa” in our heads, tender and not very strong, because Blake tells us to. Is the lamb’s voice any more tender than the mouse’s or the dove’s? not really, but the poet wants us to only remember that “tender” voice he mentions. Of course, if you compare it to the voice of a Tyger, then maybe it is tender. Looking at the following line: “Making all the vales rejoice?” completes this idealized image and the poet again uses personification as he says the “vales” (which are valleys) can rejoice. It is fantastic enough to imagine that the vales would rejoice, even if he only said “people” or “angels”, but to attribute the rejoicing to whole valleys makes us imagine something like what is seen in Walt Disney’s “Fantasia” where trees and flowers and plants, literally everything which lives, suddenly stand up singing songs of praise and joy. So now we have this little fluffy lamb out in the middle of a meadow by a stream, listening to the poet talk about how he and the lamb are both like Jesus, because one (the author, is a child and the other is a lamb, both of which Jesus idealized in the gospel, and both of which have been the symbols of innocence and putiry in Christian dogma.
Then all the living things around begin to “rejoice”.That would be something to see! The poet moves on in the second poem to talking to a tyger. Since the lamb did not run away and hide, it stands by the same logic that this tyger does not pounce on the poet. So if the lamb was the symbol of innocence, then the tyger must be, by the subtitle, the symbol of experience. But this tyger is “burning bright”. Is that a symbol for Hell? Perhaps the poet thought that industrialization was going to kill everything or make people too materialistic, and so he used a burning tyger to symbolize this. When I read this poem before I simply thought he was talking about the bright glowing eyes, but he never mentions the eyes until the next stanza, so I must have been wrong.
To continue, the Tyger burning bright is doing that “in the forests of the night”. Where is that? Is this just a forest at night time or did the poet mean more? Are the forests of the night different from the ones of the day? Well, yes thay are. They are much more scary. They seem darker and deeper and just so much more dangerous. So could Blake mean that these forests of the night are the uncertain, and he thinks pessimistically grim, future? Is the lamb where we came from and the Tyger where we are going? Perhaps we are going into the sun? After reading the next few lines without much illumination on this topic we come to the line,” On what wings dare he aspire?”, and we suddenly get a picture of a winged creature or man. We are reminded of Daedelus and Icarus from Greek mythology.
Published in 1794 as one of the Songs of Experience, Blake's 'The Tyger " is a poem about the nature of creation, much as is his earlier poem from the Songs of Innocence, 'The Lamb.' However, this poem takes on the darker side of creation, when its benefits are less obvious than simple joys. Blake's simplicity in language and construction contradicts the complexity of his ideas. This poem is meant ...
Icarus flew too near to the sun, because he was enthalled, and maybe he wanted to try to snatch the fire. Of course Blake mentions “deeps or skies” when he talks about the fire of the tyger’s eyes, so the poet could be asking this same question, if the tyger comes from the “deeps” (of Hell?) or the “skies” (of Heaven?).
It seems like maybe Blake was mixing in a lot of mythological imagery, as he described the deity who made the Tgyer. The image of making the tiger in the same fashion that a blacksmith might still fits with Daedulus and Icarus as does tyring to grasp the fire. as in the line, “What the hand, dare sieze the fire! ” What the hammer! what the chain” is a really difficult line. The hammer would be that of the blacksmith, but I could not figure out what the “chain” is for.
Since we can be quite sure that Blake never heard of computer games, the World of Warcraft does not seem to fit. However, after much research I discovered that blacksmith’s used a chain or system of chains to lower the items into the cold water for tempering or hardening. So, perhaps Blake is referring to this. It seems there are a lot of images here that might have been more familiar to Blake’s audience. However, if we follow the metaphor of the blacksmith making the fearful tyger, then we can make all of the tools mentioned into blacksmith’s tools. However, it is sometimes difficult to figure out is Blake is talking about a body part belonging to the Tyger or to the blacksmith. One such time is when he mentions the “dread hand” and the dread feet”. Since Tyger’s, even imaginary ones, do not have hands, then we have to guess that the hand belongs to the blacksmith and yet he also mentions “dread feet”, which could not be the blacksmith’s, since there is nothing about a blacksmith’s feet which might be “dread”.
The Essay on ‘How do the stylistic elements reinforce meaning in Blake’s poems The Lamb and The Tyger’?
William Blake composes two beautiful pieces of work that exemplify his ideas on the nature of creation. The two pieces, The Lamb and The Tyger, are completely opposite views, which give questionable doubt about most people's outlook of creation. ‘The Tyger’ concentrates on the dangers to be faced in life and nature while ‘The Lamb’ celebrates nature as seen through the innocent eyes of a child. ...
On the other hand, Tyger feet have claws. These poems are definitely romantic in style. In both of these poems the poet seems almost enraptured of the beauty, fearful or not, of nature, an important part of romanticism. Romantic poems used nature, and often personified the natural. The setting of both poems is in the countryside: a meadow for The Lamb and a forest for The Tyger, and is personified in The Lamb.. Also, both the figures are idealized, though the Tyger is, again, frightening, while the Lamb is peaceful.
Both poems use symbolism to make their statement, and the symbols are fantastic and imaginative. Through this metaphor, the poet seems to ask if God made both the innocent side and the experienced. Perhaps the spiritual and the materialistic sides of the nature of man is what he is asking about. So even the theme is romantic as he is asking about the spiritual side of man versus the materialistic..