The Lamb and The Tyger William Blake must have intended these two poem to be read together. They complement each other in rhythm, sensory and emotional content and imagery. The poems are rather interdependent, as they do not carry as much power when read alone. The sensory images and the setting are part of the Romantic style as is the idealistic tone and emotion. The Romantic era poetry was characterized by reference to nature, especially in the use of imagery from nature, though these poems were actually written at the very beginning of the period. Further, romantic poetry was characterized by high ideals in the content, and the use of personification of animals.
Most of the poetry of the period rhymed and used a standard pattern of rhythm, Finally, the poems appealed to the senses, made one somewhat nostalgic and reminded the reader of idealistic times, such as childhood. It was a time when poets considered the beauty in the world, and rather ignores the more seamy side of life. There are three types of sensory cues in The Lamb: cues from images, cues from setting and cues from the rhythm. The cues from the natural settings and the natural images make this poem part of the Romantic era, thought Blake was early Romantic. The cues from images begin on lines 6 and 7: Softest clothing, wooly, bright; Gave thee such a tender voice, The first line reminds us of how soft lambs wool feels against the skin, and we can almost smell the lanolin. The second line reminds us how the lamb sounds, and we can hear it baaa from memory, though I remember a different voice, a not so soft insistence on being fed and we gave it a bottle.
The period of Romanticism in English literature was in many senses a reaction to the Enlightenment which preceded it. The objectivity and sheer rationality of the Enlightenment was held in disdain by the Romantics, who saw it as a period "which did not allow feeling and imagination to outweigh reason." The essence of Romantic thought springs from a soul which "protests against whatever exists, ...
As we read we imagine the scene the Blake describes: in a meadow (mead) by a stream in the valley (vale).
This image conveys feelings of cool afternoons by a stream and we can imagine the sound of the stream and the feeling of breezes The rhythm is very regular and sounds like it should be sung, and that clue adds a dimension to the reading, as we can imagine the music as we read. All of these cues to imagination are Romantic in style. Imagination is used to experience the sensory portions of the poem, to see the scene and the lamb. We also imagine what lambs like to eat when he uses the word feed and we remember the smell of clover. The emotional content of this poem idealistic, which is a characteristic of Romantic poetry, and it is aimed at children, as the narrator claims to be a child. The reader might imagine the narrator standing quietly by and admiring a baby lamb in the woods.
I a child & thou a lamb. The poem is a song of praise, or a hymn, as it has all the elements of a prayer to the Christian deity, Jesus. It is a little confusing in that Jesus never claimed to be the Creator, The emotion of this poem is closest to wonder, or awe as the narrator compares himself and the lamb to Jesus. This poem was written for a much different audience than today, though it retains its charm over the centuries. It is an idealistic portrait of childhood innocence: both the narrator and the lamb being babies. However, the full effect of the poem does not come out unless it is read alongside The Tyger.
The first verse of The Tyger is famous, and has been used in other literature, because of the power of the first line. The very idea that the tiger is burning makes us think of a magical beast, and magic or spiritual ideas were a large part of the Romantic period. Blake seems to call to the tiger like an incantation: Tiger, tiger, burning bright! There are not as many sensory clues is this poem as in The Lamb. However, the images of fire call to mind the spectacle of Chinese New Year when dancing tigers and flaming torches are paraded through town. Because of the rhythm of this poem you can almost hear the exotic Chinese drums. It is almost certain that this is not the image that Blake intended, but we bring our own baggage to the reading, and we are far removed from his original audience.
WILLIAM BLAKE William Blake was born on 1757. He grew up in the middle of London. Since Blake lived in a bad part of the neighborhood, he was poorly educated. Around the age of ten his father had enough money to send him to drawing school and then at fourteen he became an engraver. Blake realized that he was not any good at being artistic. Starting in 1778 Blake began making a living by giving ...
The lines which are puzzling are these two lines: On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand, dare sieze the fire! We do not know what Blake means by this until we read the next two verses and understand that Blake is envisioning the Creator as a blacksmith, who shapes the tiger in a fiery forge. Finally he uses a linein a further verse to indicate that lightening finished the job as the Creator stood back to admire what He had made. The line: When the stars threw down their spear, reminds us of the way lightening looks as it strikes the ground. That image brings with it a memory of thunder, which frightens many young children, adding to the power of the tiger. The power of this poem is in the rhythm and the strong concrete images. We can imagine that we see the Blacksmith beating out the shape of the tiger and firing it in a forge. These kinds of very simple peasant like images were also used in Romantic poetry.
We can almost hear the sound of the hammer ion the rhythm. We can see Him stand back and watch the lightening strike His creation and give it life. The last question which Blake asks before repeating the first verse is asking if the same creator made the lamb and the tiger. If we were to look for more symbols, we might see the lamb as salvation and the tiger as doom. The two poems are thus connected and it is this which carries the extra meaning created by the contrast. This idealistic view, the nature images and the emotional content are what made these poems part of the romantic era.
When the two poems are read together they create an interesting contrast. The rhythm of The Lamb is soft and lilting, while that of The Tyger is strong and insistent, like military drums. It is in hearing the two poems together that we begin to understand the contrast and appreciate the meaning that is not there when the poems are read alone. Without the contrast, we would never get the idea that maybe the tiger is not really a tiger, but something quite a lot more fearful. The contrast of the lion and the lamb then reminds us of the psalm, or song of praise, in which the lion lays down with the lamb. Is this Blake’s modern version? Is Blake looking at two diametrically different creations of the same god and asking if the same god made both, then he may be questioning if the same god made everything.
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. ...
In fact, when we consider that everything seems to have its opposite, we can surmise that Blake is including this idea in his poems and marveling at the balance. Sources Cited 1 The Lamb (1789), William BLake 2 The Tyger (1794), William Blake.