A Poison Tree Questions and Answers
by William Blake

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In "The Lamb" and "The Tiger," is Blake concerned with the creator?

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Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Yes. Both poems ponder the nature of God. The two poems are often paired. Let's consider "Tyger, Tyger" first. Stanza are cited first; my analysis appears in brackets below each section:

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

(The speaker wonders what sort of God could create something so "fearful"...fierce and yet wonderful.)

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

(What sort of a God would be bold enough and strong enough to forge such a fearsome creature?)

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

(Not only is this God awesome, he is a consummate artist, beautifully crafting the tiger's sinewy strength. The power of such an artist inspires a dreadful, respectful fear in the speaker.)

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 560 words.)

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gbeatty eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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arjun | Student

The Tiger and the lamb both represent two different states of human soul. The tiger is the symbol of power, where as the lamb is of innocence, mildness and beauty. When the lamb is destroyed by the experience, the tiger is needed to restore the world.
The tiger deals with the immense problem of evil. His God is essentially personal, there fore, evil must be his wrath. According to the poet, the wrath of lion is the wisdom of God. The great purpose of it is to consume error, to annihibilate those stubborn beliefs which can’t be removed by the tame horses of instruction.
Actually the Creator calls himself a lamb. He is meek and mild according to His attributes. So He is a little child Spreading love and its prosperity. And in case of the tiger, He is like that and the form must be supplied him is now the Promethean Smith work violently at his forge. The tiger is image of the Creator; its deadly terror must be His.
The speaker does not even know, if the same power created both the tiger and the lamb.
The both are images of God, one shows love and the other shows terror or wrath. Besides, little Lamb is the symbol of Christ and the child. Christ is meek and mild like a lamb.
He became a little child,
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
So, it is clear that Blake is concerned with the Creator.