Analysis of Blake's "The Lamb"
"The Lamb," written by William Blake, is included in the work Songs of Innocence, published by Blake in 1789. In the poem, the speaker questions a lamb, asking it who made it and brought it to life. The speaker asks the lamb who allows it to eat and drink of the stream, and who gave it the fleece on its back, who gave it the voice to make noise. The speaker then answers by saying something that called himself a lamb gave him all he has. The Lamb is meek and mild, and all are called by his name. As he answers the lamb, the author reveals the purpose of the poem, to illustrate the glory and power of the lord Christ.
"The Lamb" is a dramatic poem because it involves a dialogue between the speaker and the assumed presence of a lamb.
The development of the poem is centered around the questions the speaker poses to the lamb, and his monologue is the poem. It is not a lyric poem, although it is short, because it is centered around a monologue, rather than emotion or depth of feeling.
Blake evokes an ecclesiastical tone through the use of antiquated English, which is reminiscent of the King James version of the bible. In lines 9-10, when the speaker asks "Little lamb, who made thee?/ Dost thou know who made thee?" the use of the words dost, thou, and thee, already outdated by the late 18th century, evokes the feeling of church and the old style of the bible (9-10). Later in the poem, the use of a kenning of Christ, as he called himself the Lamb, also gives the feeling of being in church (13-14). The way in which...