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How does William Blake's Lamb/Tyger contrast with the neoclassical?Specifically the...

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upgrayedd | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 9, 2010 at 10:48 PM via web

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How does William Blake's Lamb/Tyger contrast with the neoclassical?

Specifically the poems themselves, not the ideas of Blake as a whole.

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dstuva | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 10, 2010 at 9:31 AM (Answer #1)

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At the heart of Blake's "The Lamb" and "The Tyger" is the question of the nature of God.  The idea is that the same God who made the lamb also made the tiger, so unless we are willing to suggest that God created evil, the tiger must not be "evil" in the traditional sense.  The fact that the same God makes both suggests that they just represent two different sides of God, just two different aspects of existence.  To Blake, evil isn't evil, it's just the other side of good. 

Blake does not believe in dichotomies, in dividing a human being or existence into separate parts.  Human beings are not either completely good or completely evil, for instance, just as women are not completely pure or completely contaminated based on their sexual history.  Dichotomies in human beings do not exist, just as they don't exist in God.

The thinkers of the neoclassical period emphasized reason.  They were predominately deists.  They were not so interested in the nature of God as Blake.  Reason was their god.

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tipputhyagarajan | Student , Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted June 21, 2010 at 8:54 PM (Answer #2)

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THIS POEM WAS WRITTEN BY WILLIAM BLAKE WHO WAS THE EARLIEST PREDECESSORS OF THE ROMANTICS. THE NEO CLASSICAL PERIOD GAVE MUCH IMPORTANCE TO THE TASTES OF THE RICH AND THUS ARTIFICIALITY OF EMOTIONS WERE ABUNDANT.BUT THE ROMANTICS SAW A MAN AS AN ORDINARY HUMAN BEING . HIS SENTIMENTS WERE RESPECTED. IT WAS COMMONLY REGARDED BY THE ROMANTICS THAT A PERSON IS GOOD AT HEART ONLY DURING HIS CHILD HOOD AND EXPERIENCES CHANGE HIM IN DUE COURSE OF TIME.HERE WE SEE BLAKE EXCLAIMING

"DID HE WHO MADE THE LAMB MAKE THEE?"

BLAKE'S ASTONISHMENT TOWARDS HUMAN NATURE IS EVIDENT IN THE ABOVE SYMBOLICAL QUESTION THAT HE MUSES UPON IN 'THE TYGER'

THUS THE LAMB AND THE TIGER CARRY THE SYMBOLICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DIFFERENT PHASES OF A MAN'S LIFE (THE LAMB REFERRING TO CHILD HOOD - INNOCENCE;THE TIGER REFERRING TO ADULT HOOD- EXPERIENCE).

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