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The Lamb and Innocence

6 Pages 1430 Words

THE LAMB AND INNOCENCE The works of William Blake are often mentioned as painted visions. The pictures he gives in his poems, especially The Songs, are not merely descriptive visions but dramatic and deeply psychological works.
The world of innocence is painted through the perception of children. The whole atmosphere is evoked by nursery rhyme and melodious songs in consequence of which the poems may seem a little bit simple but in fact they carry a heavy meaning and idea of the poet’s concept of religion and innocence.
In Blake’s epoch, children were considered to be sinful before God for only the ones who accepted Christ were forgiven and were the heirs of eternal life. Children, incapable of making such decisions as to accept and follow Christ were automatically taken to be condamned. Blake’s idea was accordingly revolutionary. He believed that the innocence was the state of perfection similar to that of God. It was the state of man before the fall of Adam and Eve, the state of incessant joy and a mind which knows the virtues of delight. According to Blake the children were not born condamned but were the owners of innocent souls which were in close touch with God. They were His constant companions. The experienced mind, on the other hand has lost these virtues and accepts the existence of God logically and by reasoning. The idea of God has to be then incomprehensible (because of the lost virtues) and the image of God is that of someone powerful and frightening who is required to kee!
p the world in order. In experience, religion is degenerated into the notion of control and prohibition. ( Gillham,1966).
The key poem in the Songs of Innocence is The Lamb. The speaker is a child addressing an animal ( specifically a lamb) and asking about its creator
Little Lamb, who made thee?

Gave thee life, and bid thee feed…
Gave thee clothing of delight…
Gave thee such a ...

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