About the Poem
TheLambis a poem that has been written by William Blake. The poem is about achild who questions a lamb about its origin. However, the questionsseem to be rhetorical and the narrator tries to answer the questionshe asks the lamb. The speaker informs the reader more about the lamb,where it emerges that Jesus is the lamb.
Thepurpose of this essay is to use different supporting ideas to showthat the poem has a religious message to the audience.
ARGUMENT – There are themes, situation analysis, and literary elements that support the idea that the poem has a religious message
(i) Praising the Lord
Presence of Supernatural Being
CONCLUSION – From the analysis of the different themes, literal elements, and situation analysis, it can be argued that the poem has a religious message.
Thepoem that would be discussed in this paper is “TheLamb”that was written by William Blake. In the poem, the speaker is seento have a question regarding the origin of the lamb and puts thequestion directly in an attempt to find the answer (Blake, 2010).What the speaker is contemplating about the origin of the lambconcerns, how it came into existence, its wool clothing, as well asthe tenderness of its voice. However, the speaker tries to answer thequestion that he puts across and has the idea that the lamb becamemade by the Lamb, who is thought to have similarity in gentleness andresemblance. The poem concludes by the persona bestowing blessings tothe Lamb. The poem has an important reference to the Bible, where ituses the terms “The Lamb.” This is an indication that the lambbeing talked about in the poem has a relationship with the biblicaltext. Therefore, the poem can be interpreted to have a meaningrelated to Christ. Thus, the Lamb that the speaker in the poem istalking about is Christ. The audiences for which the speaker iswriting to are the Christians. This is because he used images thatthe audience could understand or that they could relate with. Thepurpose of this essay is to use different supporting ideas in thepoem to show that it has a religious message to the audience thiswould be through discussing the themes in the poem, situation in thepoem, as wells as literary devices.
Thereare different themes that relate to religion that emerge in the poem.One of the themes is that of praising the Lord. In religiousgatherings and conversations, especially Christianity, giving praiseto Lord is a common issue, where individuals may proclaim blessingsto God for something that He has done, or expectation. In the poem,this is evident in the last two lines of the second stanza. Thenarrator says “Little Lamb God bless thee.” This is an indicationthat the speaker in the poem has realized how important God is andwants to praise his name. Also, the narrator indicates in the poemthat “he became a child,” which shows that he acknowledges theimportance and honors the aspect of Christ coming to earth, where hecame as a child, for the sake of saving mankind. Thus, this is anindication that the poem has a religious message.
Anothertheme that comes out clearly from the poem that has a relation toreligion is creation. From religious teachings, Christians believethat they were created by the Almighty God and that they resembleHim. This is the opinion held by Christians, and they respect theidea that they are like God. In the poem, this theme has beendepicted vividly where the narrator asks “Little Lamb who madethee.” The speaker then points out that the Lamb was made by theone who calls himself a Lamb (Blake, 2010). It is at the end of thepoem that the narrator reveals that the Lamb he is referring to isChrist. Thus, the theme of creation indicates that people were madeby God. Since the theme of creation is associated with religion, itimplies that the poem has a religious message.
Furthermore,another important theme that emerges in the poem is that ofChristianity values. In the Christian religion, followers areexpected to follow values that tend to emulate Christ. Differentvalues that have been associated with the religion have been sharedin the poem. One such value is meekness. Followers of theChristianity religion are expected to show meekness because it is acharacteristic that is associated with Christ. Another value that canbe associated with the Christianity religion is gentleness this isan attribute that individuals who believe in the religion aresupposed to show. In the poem, these two values are depicted in theline that indicates that “He is meek & he is mild.” Thisrepresents the idea that Christ is humble and gentle. Besides,submissiveness is another Christianity value that can be associatedwith believers, and is indicated in the poem where the persona saysthat “He became a little child.” The act of Christ becoming achild is an indication that He accepted to submit before God thealmighty.
Inaddition, the presence of a supernatural being is another theme thathas a relation with religion and has been portrayed in the poem. Thesupernatural being is associated with attributes that are beyond thenormal occurrences, or that are beyond the abilities of humans. Inthe poem, the speaker questions the little Lamb about who gave itlife (Blake, 2010). This is an indication that there is asupernatural being that has the ability of giving life, which led tothe Lamb’s existence. This makes the poem have a religiousconnotation. Alternatively, at the conclusion of the poem, the nameGod is a representation of a supernatural being or power.
Situationin the Poem
Thesecond stanza of the poem concentrates on abstract spiritual issuesand has explanations as well as an analogy. The question of thespeaker, who is a child, is naïve and profound. For instance, thechild puts up the question who made thee? This is seen as a simplequestion, but it can be viewed as a query that all humans tend tohave in an attempt to understand their origin as well as the natureof creation. It is through answering the question that the narratorreveals what he is talking about to the reader. Indeed, from thefirst stanza, it is not clear where the narrator wants to take thereader however, upon answering the question of origin and creation,he lets the reader open up eyes and get the message that he istalking about Christ. From the second stanza, it emerges that thelamb symbolizes Jesus. By bringing out the traditional image ofChrist as the lamb, the speaker is in a position to underscore theChristian values of peace, meekness, and gentleness. Also, the imageof the child in the poem can also be associated with Christ since, inthe Bible, Jesus shows a special attentiveness for children, and whenhe was a child, He was indicated as honest and vulnerable. Thespeaker applies these characteristics in the poem to show the idea ofGod and nature. Furthermore, in the poem, the narrator indicates that“We are called by his name.” This line tries to give the notionof Christianity where there is a belief that Christians are called bythe name of Christ. Therefore, the situation presented in the poemcan be considered to play a part in explaining the Christiandoctrine. Thus, the poem is depicted to portray a religious message,especially to the Christians.
Theuse of the term “the lamb” in the poem can be consideredsymbolic. The use of lamb can be deemed to have a pastoral image. Theword pastoral here describes the idealized lifestyles of merryshepherds who walk through the countryside alongside their flocks.They usually get connected to land and seasons, unlike the cityinhabitants. From the poem, the first stanza clearly brings out thefeeling that the speaker in the poem is in a rural area where he istaking care of a lamb (Blake, 2010). Line 1 can be indicated as asymbol of pastoral life because traditionally, shepherds were used toleading their herds from one field to another to feast on grass andherbs. The narrator may be seen as a young shepherd leading the lamb.By reading lines 3 and 4 of the poem, there is a metaphor thatcompares God to a Great Shepherd since He is portrayed to give sheepthe desire to feed. Therefore, from the first stanza, the reader canassociate God with the pastoral life.
Inthe poem, the lamb has been used to provide a connection amidreligion, human and nature. In line 3, the making of the lamb may beused to represent the creation story that is found in the Bible.Also, there is the personification of the lamb in the poem wherealthough it does not wear clothes like humans, it is depicted to haveclothing. Also, in line 1, the speaker is shown to talk to the lambas if it could talk or provide an answer to the question he wasasking (Blake, 2010). Alternatively, the lamb has been used as ametaphor for the child acting as the speaker of the poem in line 18,where he is depicted to belong to Christ’s flock. Thus, it bringsthe idea of Christianity. Furthermore, the poem has used repetitionof some words in the poem as a means of emphasizing on some ideas.For instance, words such as “the lamb” have been repeatedseverally in the poem to stress its importance. In addition, the lastline has been repeated twice to emphasize the message being provided.Therefore, from the literary elements, a religious connotation of thepoem has been depicted.
Inthe poem, “The Lamb,” the speaker is a child who innocently asksthe lamb whether it understands its origin. However, the narratorlater informs the lamb about what it does not know. The poem can beinterpreted to have a meaning related to Christ because of using theterm “The Lamb,” which appears in the Bible. Thus, the Lamb thatthe speaker in the poem is talking about is Christ. The audiences forwhich the speaker is writing to are the Christians because he usedimages that the audience could understand or that they could relatewith. The poem can be indicated to have religious message emanatingfrom the themes of the themes that emerge from the poem, literaryelements, as well as the analysis of the situation presented in thepoem.
Blake,W. (2010). Thelamb: SATB divisi, a cappella.Dayton, Ohio: Roger Dean.