Critical Analysis of “The Lamb” by William Blake

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Introduction: “The Lamb” is designed in two different stanzas. In the first stanza the author raises many questions by the child to the lamb and in the second part the child itself answers those questions.

Form: “The Lamb” has two stanzas; each stanza bears five rhymed couplets. Repetition in the first and last couplet of each stanza makes these lines into a refrain, and helps to give the poem its song-like quality. The flowing l’s and soft vowel sounds contribute to this effect, and also suggest the bleating of a lamb or the lisping character of a child’s chant.

Development of thought: A child who symbolizes Jesus Christ asks a lamb if it knows its merciful creator, its feeder or the giver of its delightful and comfortable clothing of fleece. He also asks the lamb whether it knows who gave it such a nice voice that fills the valleys with pleasant joy and music. The narrator does not wait for any answer. He tells the lamb that its creator is one who calls Himself a lamb. He is meek and mild and came on earth as a little child. The song comes to have a meaningful pause at this juncture. The questions are asked and answers are done and the child turns to conclude the lines in a wise spiritual implication. In the world of innocence there is an exclusive unification of three characters- Christ, child and the Lamb who constitute the Christian concept of trinity in the world of innocence.

Pastoral elements: The lamb is associated with pastoralism which in Blake symbolizes innocence and joy. The area of pastoral greenery is associated a peculiar divine air. This holiness asserts itself all through the pastoral setting of the songs of Innocence.

 

 Rhyme pattern: The rhyme scheme of this song is AA, BB, CC, DD and EE.

 

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