Comparison: The Tyger by William Blake and an extract from The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (1894)

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Carmela Loscalzo
Comparison: The Tyger by William Blake and an extract from The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
"Shere Khan does us great honour," said Father Wolf, but his eyes were very angry. "What does
Shere Khan need?"
"My quarry. A man's cub went this way," said Shere Khan. "Its parents have run off. Give it to me."
Shere Khan had jumped at a woodcutter's campfire, as Father Wolf had said, and was furious from
the pain of his burned feet. But Father Wolf knew that the mouth of the cave was too narrow for a
tiger to come in by. Even where he was, Shere Khan's shoulders and forepaws were cramped for
want of room, as a man's would be if he tried to fight in a barrel.
"The Wolves are a free people," said Father Wolf. "They take orders from the Head of the Pack, and
not from any striped cattle-killer. The man's cub is ours--to kill if we choose."
"Ye choose and ye do not choose! What talk is this of choosing? By the bull that I killed, am I to stand
nosing into your dog's den for my fair dues? It is I, Shere Khan, who speak!"
The tiger's roar filled the cave with thunder. Mother Wolf shook herself clear of the cubs and sprang
forward, her eyes, like two green moons in the darkness, facing the blazing eyes of Shere Khan.
Both The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling and The Tyger by William Blake revolve around the theme of
nature though the two were written during completely different periods. The Tyger was written
during the Romantic Movement in the late 18th century, however Blake himself followed few
conventions of this movement, so to an extent, it is not accurate to categorise him as a Romantic and
The Jungle Book was written in 1894. Blake was an important inspiration to the Pre-Raphaelite
movement, most notably Dante Gabrielle Rossetti and later the Modernist movement whereas
Kipling's work has inspired many films, comics and plays. The Jungle Book is a collection of short
children's stories, although it is equally enjoyed by adults. They have a fable like quality to them and
are designed to entertain. The audience of The Tyger are adults with the intention to entertain.
The Tyger is written in trochaic tetrameter and is written in rhyming couplets, "bright... night", with
the exception of lines 3 and 4 and 23 and 24. The couplets creates a regular hammering beat
mimicking the sound of blacksmith tools, such as hammers, which links to the theme of creation and it
is written in a manner that is reminiscent of a children's nursery rhyme. The Jungle Book is in
continuous prose but has short paragraphs so it is more manageable for children to read.
Repetition of the Tiger's name "Shere Khan" is used at the start of The Jungle Book extract to stress
the power and significance of the tiger in the animal kingdom, however later in the text there is a
shift and he is referred to as a "striped cattle-killer". This is meant in a derogatory manner insinuating
that he is only capable of hunting a placid animal, like a cow. The Tyger also uses repetition but, of the
1st quatrain at the end of the poem this reinforces Blake's questioning of how an immortal being
could create a creature perfectly proportioned and designed to kill. It is important to note that Blake
changes the modal verb "could" to "dare"; he is no longer asking who was capable of creating the
tiger but who would dare to.
Fire is made reference to numerous times in both pieces. The metaphor "blazing eyes of Shere Khan"
shows the intensity and power to destroy the animal has; similarly this idea is presented in The Tyger
through the metaphor "Burnt the fire of thine eyes". However fire in The Tyger is also used to

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Carmela Loscalzo
personify the tiger as being born from fire suggesting that the animal was forged rather than
created, "In what furnace was thy brain?". Emphasis is put on this idea due to the use of a lexical set
of industrialisation; "hammer", "anvil", "furnace". Blake was, however, writing during the industrial
revolution so the language could be seen to just reflect this.…read more


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