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The Lamb by William Blake - Essay Example

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The Lamb by William Blake The Lamb is part of his series of poems of the collection of Song of Innocence and the Song of Experience. If there is a "lamb", there is a "tyger". Innocence represents joy, optimism and it's opposite, nativity; Experience represents inquisitiveness and aggressiveness…
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The Lamb by William Blake
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Download file to see previous pages William Blake wanted to show that there are contrasts in all human behavior. The Lamb represents the spiritual side, nature, innocence and childhood. He is a principal theme in the Christianity. Other themes studied in this essay will be the origin of humanity, nature and innocence. Blake considers these themes passive in retrospect to the experience one performs in life. A stream, the English country side and a small innocent child who questions the values of life are passive in comparison to the actions of a "tyger". "By the stream and o'er the mead". The first stanza brings us to the English country side with a stream and a meadow. "By the stream and o'er the mead" is literal but Blake differentiates between the physical and the spiritual: "gave thee life, and bid thee feed" and "Gave thee such a tender voice". The alternating between the physical and the spiritual adds to the playfulness of a child asking a question and then answering it. The narrator is playing. He is answering his own questions. "Little Lamb, who made thee?" Then the next stanza. "Little Lamb, I'll tell thee." The scenario is set in the first stanza and it is a nice setting. The lamb is a metaphor for a child as there is then reference to a child asking questions in regards to his clothing. " Gave thee clothing of delight, Softest clothing, woolly, bright". In going one step deeper, the reader realizes that the questions are much more profound in the first stanza." Dost thou know who made thee?""Making all the vales rejoice?" This poem is in a child like song but the sophistication of the questions show that though the language is simple, the questions deal with the essence of humanity. In the first stanza the reader does not know who is asking the questions. He assumes, the narrator is a child talking but line three "Gave thee life, and bid thee feed", would not come from a child of either the 21st or 18th century. There are other interpretations. Is he a child; is he God or is he a parent asking the questions for his child? There is also reference that we are all the children of God. "Little lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? If he is a parental figure and wanting to get the child to reflect on the existence of life. "Dost thou know who made thee?" In the second stanza, the narrator takes a different attitude. First by the form, the reference to Jesus by the 'He' and 'Himself' and 'He'. The narrator is stronger as he answers the questions in the first stanza. He alluded to the lamb being Jesus; to their having the same character traits of innocence, meekness and naivety. "For He calls Himself a Lamb. He is meek, and He is mild, "He became a little child" is his becoming a child of God."We are called by His name" is reference to our being children of God. "The Lamb" is a child's song. Blake wrote it in a common hymn like form that was well known in church. The trochaic meter was pleasing: ."Gave thee life, and bid thee feed. This continues throughout the poem. He used another technique of repeating the first and last couplets of each stanza to continue the sing song effect : "Little Lamb, who made thee?" "Doest thou know who made thee?"" Little Lamb, I'll tell thee?""Little Lamb, God bless thee!". Another literary device was saying goodbye or good night in the last sentence as a lullaby."Little Lamb, God Bless thee!" The rhyme of the poem is AABBCCDDEE of the first stanza then AABBCCDDEE of the second stanza. The rhythm and the rimed couplets add ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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