The Theme Of Humanity In William Blake's The Tyger

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“In all of nature, there is nothing so threatening to humanity as humanity itself.” – Lewis Thomas

In this essay, I will be exploring how the theme of humanity is presented in the poems The Tyger, Prayer

Before Birth and If- and how it affects the portrayal of characters through language.

The Tyger is a very figurative poem therefore the literal meaning of this poem is quite obscured. From my

perspective, Blake is questioning the creation of the tiger since God also created the lamb, setting up a

paradox for the reader: can evil come from good? This relates to the poems Prayer Before Birth and If- as

the two poems demonstrate an unborn child and a father’s perspectives of the world around them,

showing their criticism of the way the world currently functions in addition to what they wish it could

become. These three poems all represent an ideal world where there is no hatred or discrimination, where

there are no disasters or catastrophes – where human beings can live in peace and harmony – but this is a

far-fetched delusion.

Another way these poems represent the faults in humanity is how the historical context has been

implemented. William Blake’s The Tyger is one poem in a collection called Songs of Experience, in fact

contradicting his earlier poem The Lamb in a collection which is named Songs of Innocence. Just by the

titles of these two collections, it is evident that Blake has received a change of heart or realised a horrible

truth and thus his view of
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