The Tyger by William Blake
Reference to context
When the stars threw down their spears, And water'd heaven with their tears, Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Dec 2016, June 2012
The above lines are taken from the poem The Tyger written and composed by William Blake.
William Blake is considered to be one of the greatest visionaries of the early Romantic era. Today Blake’s poetic genius has largely outstripped his visual artistic renown.
"The Tyger" is a poem made of questions. Addressing "The Tyger," the speaker questions it as to its creation – essentially: "Who made you Mr. Tyger?" "How were you made? Where? Why? What was the person or thing like that made you?" The poem is often interpreted to deal with issues of inspiration, poetry, mystical knowledge, God, and the sublime (big, mysterious, powerful, and sometimes scary.)
The speaker mentions a time when the stars gave up their weapons and rained their tears on heaven. At this time, wonders the speaker, did the creator look at the tiger and smile at his accomplishment? And was the tiger made by the same creator who made the lamb?
These lines are the most clearly "Christian" of the poem. These Lines are a bit ambiguous, and may refer to the casting down of the angels after Satan rebelled against God.
The word "lamb," may be is used as a symbol of Jesus Christ ("the Lamb of God"). As the tradition holds, animals such as lambs were sacrificed to God or gods in general until God offered his Son, Jesus Christ – his lamb – as the final sacrifice for the sins of mankind. In “Did he who made the Lamb make thee”, Blake references a version of Christianity that states that God created Jesus. Blake asks whether God, who created Jesus, also created the Tyger. "The Lamb" is also the title of another poem by Blake, from the Songs of Innocence.
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