The Lamb and The Tiger

December 2, 2016 General Studies

In both poems, the speaker asks them by their origins. In The Lamb we get an answer, but it does not occur in The tyger, although this last poem is longer we do not have an explicit answer.

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We have in both poems the adjective “bright” in their description but expresses different things: in The Lamb, the animal is described as “wooly bright”, which means tenderness; in the tyger is “burning bright”, which is a rough definition.

In The Lamb the author is identified as a child. The idea of the poem is identify us (children) with Christ or God, giving a positive message to the child. In The Tyger the predominant feeling is surprise, admiration, fear (awe). It is a poem made of questions.


1st stanza.

“burning bright” – may refer to the tiger’s eyes.

“frame thy fearful symmetry” – the stripes of the tiger.

“what immortal” – use of “what” instead of “who”.

2nd stanza.

Blake’s intention is to make feel that a smith made this animal: “burnt”(line 6), “fire”(line 6”.

“distant deeps or skies” – remote place.

“what wings dare he aspire” – the words “wings” and “aspire” reflect a very proud, outrageous creator (“he”). These words mean that the creator wanted to reach very far.

3rd stanza.

Reference to creation process: strength, effort In the last line, makes reference to the creator’s hands and feet (strength idea).

4th stanza.

Reference to the tools used during the creation and the strength of the creator who held them.

5th stanza.

Rain, a symbol meaning that nature fears the tiger.

Line 3: maybe similar to the creation in the Bible (“and he saw what he had created and he saw it was good”).

The last two questions can be taken as open or rhetorical questions.

6th stanza.

Symmetry with the first stanza but with a change of verb in the last line: not only could (capability) but “dare”.


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