God and the Human Spirit in the Poetry of William Blake
An analysis of the themes of God, salvation, and mankind in William Blake’s The Lamb and The Tyger.
The paper analyzes William Blake’s semantic development of the “Songs of Innocence” and the “Songs of Experience” by focusing on Blake’s concept of the Divine and how he devoutly professes his faith in the Christian concept of God. The paper examines the poems The Lamb and The Tyger and highlights how the archetypes of man’s dual nature—-manifested through this symbiosis of wrath and tenderness—-are represented in these poems.
“William Blake’s semantic development of the Songs of Innocence and the Songs of Experience can be measured through an analysis of the apparent dichotomies inherent in his archetypes. Innocence and Experience each assume polarized roles of Mankind’s place in God’s universe and of the ability of Mankind to achieve its own salvation through the anagogic principles set forth by the Creator. They accomplish this goal in concert with one another, rather than in opposition. To explain this paradox, it is necessary to understand Blake’s concept of the Divine, which is explicit in his poem from Songs of Innocence entitled “The Divine Image,” wherein he states that, regardless of our faith, or the rituals we use to express our faith, we all, ultimately, pray to the highest virtues within ourselves. Divinity, to Blake, lies within us, where God is Man, and Man, his own God. Yet, at the very core of his humanism, Blake devoutly professes his faith in the Christian concept of God, establishing himself under the dubious appellation of Christian-humanist, a term which is itself paradoxical, but which serves the same complementary roles as do those of Innocence and Experience.”