While the tiger may be a dangerous creature, it is still one of beauty, much like our own society. We encounter dangerous situations and beautiful scenes on a daily basis. In short, there is danger but there is also beauty. It is also interesting to observe how the end of “the Tiger” is much like the beginning. The poet writes:
Tyger, Tyger burning bright
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry.
With this last stanza the poet brings the poem full circle. It is interesting to note how the tiger is not just burning but that he is burning bright. Furthermore, he lives in a dark world of danger. This dark world allows us to see the burning animals “fearful symmetry” (Tyger 4). This line also brings a balance between the tigers fierceness and its beauty. We should also note how the tiger symbolizes man. Through this connection, the poet is reminding us that the same force that created the tiger created us as well. This thought brings the poet to a moment of celebration. In comparison, “The Lamb” focuses on life by focusing on the lambs creator. In the second stanza, the poet supports this notion by answering his own question with the answer that he is created by a creator that “calls himself a Lamb” (14). A connection to the creator is also made when he writes:
He is meek and he is mild,
He became a little child:
child and thou a lamb,
We are called by his name. (Lamb 14-17).
The Lamb” is a poem of innocence, ending with a voice of hope through a blessing. The subject of this poem cannot comprehend evil nor can it understand how dangerous the world is. The poet seems to be satisfied with this innocence in that he does not want to spoil it in any way. We get the feeling that the poet wants the lamb to retain its innocence. It is interesting to note how the poet is aware of this innocence and how he does not want to spoil it. This is the voice of experience in the poem of innocence.
The Tyger” and “The Lamb” are excellent poem to compare and contrast because, ultimately, they complement each other even though they seem to be about two completely opposite subjects. “The Lamb” brings our attention to innocence, even though the poet realizes this innocence cannot last forever. It is the creature and its creator that are both linked with innocence. The same voice that understands this fact about innocence is the same voice that understands the fierce and powerful creation of the tiger. The creature is powerful, fierce, and dangerous and its creator must be just as powerful and fierce. However, its creator is the same creator of the lamb. That the same creator gave us both creatures and that fact is something that the poet marvel at and appreciates.
Blake, William. “The Lamb.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York W.W. Norton and Company, 1986.
The Tyger. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York W.W. Norton.