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None of the “duets” Blake included in his Songs of Innocence and of Experience contains more questions than the pair “The Lamb” and “The Tyger.” And none of these questions provokes more critical speculation than the experienced speaker’s “Did he who made the Lamb make thee?” The structure of “The Tyger” prompts one response to this question, which, though seemingly obvious, is seldom, if ever, given. Immediately after “Did he who made the Lamb make thee?” comes the famous repetition—the lines that constitute the beginning of the poem, that open “The Tyger.” By repeating the lines Blake identifies the question’s “thee”/addressee—who turns out to be “Tyger Tyger burning bright . . .” (and not, as it is often argued, a tyger or, worse, a tiger). In effect, Blake emphasizes his experienced poem’s self-referential character and provides the answer to its climactic question. Did he who made “The Lamb” also make “Tyger Tyger burning bright”? Of course he did, because there is one and the same maker behind these two works: William Blake.

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