The Dual Nature of God in William Blake's Poetry, Essay Sample for You

Published: 2022-02-22
The Dual Nature of God in William Blake's Poetry, Essay Sample for You
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  God William Blake
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1899 words
16 min read

William Blake is an example of a Christian writer in the 19th century who tried to explain the dual nature of God through his poetic words. Through his poem "The lamb," Blake represents innocence, while in the poem "The Tyger" he represents the contrasting side of the baby lamb, and hence describing Jesus as revolutionary. More fundamentally, this portrays God as one who is ever forgiving but always punishes. Based on this context, there has been a development of contradicting views which have forced people to analyze and reanalyze their concept of the divinity, of God. Thus, God's nature of being both fully God, fully man and yet one person is a representation of his innocence and bright while being dark and mature at the same time.

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In the first poem, Blake covers the life of a lamb and speaks to it as a small child representing innocence. "I a child & thou a lamb, we are called by his name." (Blake). The child approaches the lamb and starts asking many questions beginning with who, the creator of the beautiful lamb was. The idea of thinking of the poem in the shoes of a lamb, where a small child approaches you as you feed and starts asking questions such as who gave us life, is overly interesting. Besides, the child answers all these questions and says that the one responsible for creating us was at some point also called a lamb. This ideology is also extensively exemplified in Dulle's article, "The Dual Nature of Christ" which references the Biblical teachings explaining the mysteries behind the dual nature of God (Dulle). Also, in the first stanza, the child's questions seem all believable since it is possible for a child to talk to a lamb but in the second stanza, this changes as the child indicate that one who created us including the humans is a mighty being a thing one could not expect from a child (Rose, Brianna, et al). This shows the understanding of the Christian religion for the child. A close analysis of the poem matches Bullinger's approach in their book, on how the dual nature of man-both flesh and spirit challenge the adoration that we have for God and also the nature of Jesus due to the Christian ways that are seen within the characters of it (Bullinger).

God is perceived as a Lamb due to his meekness, gentleness, and peace. Also, the image of a child can be associated with Jesus. As per the bible, Jesus displays a unique solicitude for children. The dual nature of God is both the spiritual nature of God as per the Christian values, and when the birth of Jesus Christ took place, it portrayed one of the other human nature of God.

Through the poem, 'The Lamb" Blake gives a representation of Jesus in different forms and hence depicting the dual nature of God. The peaceful spirit represented by the lamb covers one nature of God. The poem sees the light in the life of people and the love of the good that is in the world. The human nature of God, on the other hand, is carved out by the little naive child. The heart of a child with no traces of bad for all creatures. "Gave thee clothing of delight, softest clothing wooly bright;" (Blake). The child approaching the lamb to admire its beauty and asks it who clothed it as a sign of admiration. The dual nature of God is a thing Christians look up to, and Blake does manage to cover this precisely well in the poem.

On the other hand, Blakes poem, The Tyger covers the flip side of the good. Concerning the first poem, Blake covers more on the good of the world and also uses the child and the lamb to portray all this. In the poem, Blake fails to account for the presence of evil and the suffering in the world. One would feel that this fails to capture both sides of the world which is good and the bad. From the second poem, Blake manages to cover all this. This makes both poems complement each other. The poem "The Tyger" is more of questions. Less of the questions are answered but leave us thinking of trying to give answers to them. The tiger is stunning which a reflection of its creator is. Then the question comes in how such a beautiful creature would be so destructive. This happens in the world we live in. As art, it's always a reflection of its creator. So for the tiger's case, we are left wondering if the creator is destructive as his creation.

The nature of God embraces the undeniable evil and violence that exists in the world. The poem tries to show the existence of both beauty and horror. The world we live in has a taste of all this, and it's unexplainable the nature of God. As per the statement that the love of God is the fear of God as it is his nature. "Did he who made the Lamb make thee?" (Blake). The tiger is used to symbolize the evils of the world and the beauty of the world at the same time. The question of who created such a creature and would this have been accidental also leaves the reader wondering, but the comparison between the lamb and the creature shows the undeniable truth of the fact that evil is present in the world. The capability of the existence of good in the world shows the possibility of evil in the world as well. Evil, within the tiger, is seen to be both physical and morally as the writer tries to encompass the two within the poem.

As we embrace the evil in the world, we are left questioning who was responsible for the creation of a creature like the tiger, whether it is the same person responsible for the creation of the lamb. Such a huge contrast between the two. The dual nature of God is seen from this view of both scenarios. A lamb has been focused on as such a loving and peaceful creation as well as beautiful. On the other hand, the tiger with all its glowing beauty its burning eyes and destructive nature questions the intentions of its creator (Blake). Similarly, Perman substantiates the plurality of persons within God's unity as well as the union of Godhead and manhood in a single person, Jesus. This, in essence explains the character of Jesus, as understood by Christians as both human and divine natures that are full and complete (Perman).There is a possibility for this to be assigned for us that the same creator who can create such beauty can also destroy all the beauty. Also looking at the symbolism used for the lamb and the tiger we as humans have the capability being as good as the lamb, loving, peaceful and caring. Contrary to this, human beings have the capacity to transform from such loving creatures to destructive creatures, which is witnessed in our world today. We have come across humans with the ability to show much good, and on the other hand, we have met other creatures with no sense of human love left in within them. The dual nature of God is seen through both the poems and William Blake uses both poems so as to complement each other and cover both sides of the world. As Christians, the existence oof the dual nature of God is a thing that helps us understand God more, from the poems by Blake we can understand this and the use of symbolism paints a clear picture of what the dual nature of God clearly stands for.

Annotated Bibliography

Works Cited

Blake, William. "The Lamb." Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, HarperCollins Canada, 2013, p. 8. The Lamb is one of William Blake's poems from his 1794, publication "Songs of Innocence." Primarily, the poem presents an idealized world that conflicts with the harsh realities of the late 18th and the early 19th Century life. More fundamentally, in this poem William Blake makes use of the Lamb as a common symbol and he admires and specific to this poem, he admires the lamb for its happiness and the association with Jesus Christ. The ideologies of this poem, however, contrast those of his poem, The Tyger.

"The Tyger." Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, HarperCollins Canada, 2013, p. 54. In this poem, William Blake portrays Jesus as the Tiger as opposed to one of his poem in the same series, The Lamb. The poem is written in the series, "Songs of Experience" which is matched by an idealistic portrayal in his other series known as "Songs of Innocence." To a broader extent, the contrast in the two indicates a contrast in Blake's method of social protest. According to the poem, Jesus is described as an overly revolutionary individual, as opposed to the modern day perception of him being a pretty mellow character.

Bullinger, Ethlbert W. The Two Natures in the Child of God. Honest Truth, Inc, 1979. Bullinger, the author of this book focuses his contentions on the question how the dual nature of man-both flesh and spirit challenge the adoration that we have for God. In this regard, the author takes this question and profoundly explores inspiring depth, how this can become the grounds for reassurance among believers and not grounds for doubt. A reassurance of the proof we as humans can have that we are God's handiwork as well as a new source of joy and deep solace.

Crisp, Oliver D. Divinity and Humanity: The Incarnation Reconsidered. Cambridge UP, 2007. In this book, the author argues that despite the fact that the Incarnation doctrine lies at the heart of Christianity the idea that God was in Christ Jesus has overly been debated and also misunderstood in the modern day theology. The author's view therefore, denies Christ is God Incarnate, with reference to him being the core moral exemplar that is to be imitated.

Dulle, Jason. "The Dual Nature of Christ." Institute for Biblical Studies - (, Accessed 12 Apr. 2018. This article by Dulle is primarily centered on the speculated nature of Christ by both believers and non-believers over the past two millennia. The author draws from The Bible when Jesus questioned one of his disciples in regard to what men claimed he was. Besides, borrowing from the Christian and the Church interpretations of God's nature, the author concludes that Jesus was both God and man. The fact that the scripture speaks of Him in a manner that he is both fully God and fully man and is yet, one person explains the mysteries held by both the believers and non-believers.

Perman, Matt. "How Can Jesus Be God and Man?" Desiring God, 15 Apr. 2018, Accessed 2018. In this article, Perman, begins by likening the doctrine of incarnation, Christ as both man and God, to the doctrine of Trinity. To a broader extent, the author seeks to solve two mysteries for the price of one, the plurality of persons within God's unity as well as the union of Godhead and manhood in a single person, Jesus. In conclusion, the author references the Biblical evidence that Christ is God the son, meaning that he has both divine and human natures which are full and complete.

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