The Innocence Of A Lamb Essay

946 words - 4 pages

Songs of Innocence by William Blake collocates the naïve lives of children and loss of innocence of adults, with moral Christian values and how religion has the capacity to promote cruelty and prejudice. Blake was born in 1757, up to and after the French Revolution he wrote many works criticizing enlightened rationalism and instead focused on intellectual ideas that avoided institutionalization and propelled ethical and moral order. Blake’s collection of poem exposes and explores the values and limitations of secular and religious institutions. “The Lamb” focuses on children’s naivetés and innocence, but also curiosity in regards to faith, and ideas of nature and God.
Though naiveté and ...view middle of the document...

Aubrey interprets an excellent symbol that embodies the natural aspects in that the Lamb is a fundamental in understanding the joy associated with the religious symbolism of the poem. The Lamb permeates innocence and happiness, personified as though it possesses human qualities. The speaker asks, “[Who] gave thee such a tender voice / making all the vales rejoice” (7-8). The innocence of the lamb correlates to the incorruptibility of Jesus Christ. Aubrey argues that “The Lamb”, “creates a self-referential loop in which distinctions of a subject and object break down in the fluid intimacy of entwining interrelation” (Aubrey 3). The ‘entwining interrelation’ suggested by Aubrey exposes “The Lamb” as an allegory, telling two stories, one of innocence of the boy and the lamb in the natural world, and other relating to Christ and the divine.
Songs of Innocence and “The Lamb” not only communicate Blake’s argument of the link between the natural and spiritual, but also Blake conveys his argument of moral and Christian ethics. For example, after the boy asks the lamb, “[Who] gave thee life, and bid thee feed” (3). The boy inquires of the lamb, only to elaborate on it. The rhetoric the boy uses posses an instructional tone; however, the virtue of the conversation still is gentile. The paradox of a naïve boy teaching an innocent lamb, whom is a child as well, coincides with Christian teaching regarding Jesus Christ. Erica Smith argues, “Blake creates personas and songs to spark poetic conversation on the aspects of innocence…‘it points to an aspect of Christian myth and ethics which is a real force against violence’” (Smith 1). The pastoral theme of “The Lamb” signifies both meekness and temperament, which is a major teaching point and virtue in Christianity. In Blake’s Songs of Experience the same themes are revisited in “The Tyger”,...

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