"Compare and contrast William Blake's "The Tyger" (1793) and William Wordsworth's "Strange fits of passion I have known" (1798/1800).
Both "Strange fits of passion I have known" and "The Tyger" were written during the "Romantic Period", generally taken to extend from the outbreak of the French Revolution (1789), through the first three decades of the Nineteenth Century. Romantic literature departed from the traditional materials, form and style of preceding Neo-Classic literature, embracing innovation in these areas. Instead of the serious genres, high subjects, and elevated style and decorum of the Neo-Classic period, Romanticism heralded an era of social, political and literary revolution, new beginnings and "high possibilities". .
Blake and Wordsworth, were (roughly) contemporaries in this time, and rejected the rules and rigid style of the poets before them, adopting instead a new style without such restrictions of subject, style or form. They believed in freedom, imagination, intensity and truth; the spontaneous, organic, natural evolution of the poet's own thoughts, feelings and emotions. Sweeping away traditional authority, they turned inwards to their own hopes, fears and personal insights, bringing new truths or "rights" to the individual. Nature, landscape, vision and prophecy were all-important to this new breed of Romantic poets, but they expressed their beliefs in different ways. .
Blake's poems are extremely simple, but his descriptions of nature are steeped in symbolism and hidden meaning. He used simple language and rhyming quatrains, which were much influenced by nursery rhymes and children's hymns. He also favoured tetrameter over pentameter, which was unusual for his time. .
In "Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience", Blake explored unconventional ideas of the nature of God and religion and tried to unite, or balance, his concept of innocence and experience as two different states of life and the human soul.