For Exclusive Notes and Analysis

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Blake's Mysticism and Symbolism in The Lamb

Blake's Mysticism and Symbolism in The Lamb
Blake's Mysticism and Symbolism in The Lamb

William Blake was an extraordinary literary genius in the Age of Transition. He often used to say that ‘only imagination is real’ and that his task as a poet was to ‘open the mortal eyes of man inwards into the worlds of thought.’ His visionary quality and his use of myth and mysticism made his more profound works so complicated for ordinary men’s understanding that he remained unknown so long as he lived.

Was William Blake a mystic?

As a hardcore mystic, Blake in his boyhood days saw bright angels standing in a tree by the roadside. In his manhood, the earth and the air seemed to him full of spiritual presences. His imagination could not summon at any moment before him “armies of angels that soar, legions of demons that lurk.” In his intense mysticism he visualises the entire world as a spiritual and symbolical verities:

"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
The Lamb” is an emblematic poem of Songs of Innocence, a collection of Blake’s poems which give us glimpse of the ideal world free from the deadening influence of the social customs, selfishness or jealousy which assails the mind of man as he grows up. In this poem there are two characters – a child and a lamb. The child is the speaker and he lamb is the listener. The child asks several questions to the lamb expecting replies from it. This question-answer technique lends a dramatic touch to the poem.

Being struck with wonder at the beauty, innocence, meekness and mildness of a lamb an innocent child out of his naivety asks it if it knows who its Creator, giver of its food, beautiful fleece and charming and joyful voice. He does not contemplate child in the manner of Wordsworth, Hugo and Longfellow; he actually goes straight into their souls speaks through their own mouths. The grave meaning comes out when the child remarks:

“I, a child and thou a lamb
We are called by His name.”

These lines finely expose that all the creations are manifestations of Godhead. The child and the lamb are unified with God and the quality that links them together is innocence. Thus God, lamb and the child form a holy Trinity. The child harbours no evil thought. His mind is not polluted by any selfishness, envy, corruption. Blake frankly states “God is Man and exists in us and we in him...Imagination is the Divine Body in every man.” In the world of creation nothing is trivial even the a little lamb occupies a grand value.   

A fundamental question comes out from here, if the mundane things are created by someone else why not our natural world including air, water, earth and the animals? Mystics can give the answer in a ready way that behind every origination there must have been a source. Blake through the enthusiastic mind of the child seeks to answer those.

How does the lamb symbolize innocence?

Nobody acquainted with Blake’s poetry will deny that symbolism has large role to play in it. The present poem is no exception.  Symbols are largely drawn from the Bible. Unlike the tiger which stands for power, wildness, and cruelty, represents innocence, simplicity and joy.  The child is also the symbol of love, innocence, sympathy and instinctive wisdom. God in the same way acts as a symbol of the Good Shepherd under whose supervision both the lamb and the child can enjoy such delight, security and peace. Furthermore the child and the lamb represent two very important phases of Christ’s life – Incarnation and Redemption. In the stage of Incarnation, God came to earth in the body of Jesus Christ. In the child we witness the existence of both divine and human nature. In the age of Redemption Christ underwent self sacrifice to deliver mankind from sin. In the lamb we can see similar kind of sacrifice.

Blake expresses his mystical thoughts through symbols. Like Shelley he uses the object of nature as symbols to suggest the spiritual reality that lies behind the appearance.

Also Read:
~~~~~*~~~~~
Share:

Get Free Updates

Tags

A Doll's House (1) A Renouncing of Love (1) Absurd Drama (2) African English Literature (2) Agatha Christie (1) Agyeya (1) Alexander Pope (7) American Fiction (3) American Literature (29) American Play (2) American Poetry (4) Amitav Ghosh (3) Analyses (22) Anglo-Saxon Period (1) Aravind Adiga (1) Arthur Miller (5) Arundhati Roy (1) As You Like It (1) Australian Literature (2) Beowulf (3) Bertrand Russell (2) Bible (1) Biographies (15) Book Review (2) British Literature (106) Broad Notes (94) Candian Literature (1) Character Analysis (2) Charles Dickens (1) Charles Lamb (2) Charlotte Bronte (2) Chetan Bhagat (3) Chinua Achebe (2) Christopher Marlowe (2) Classical Literature (3) Composition (4) Creative Writing (7) D. H. Lawrence (1) Dan Brown (1) Daniel Defoe (1) Derek Walcott (1) Detective Novel (1) Diaspora (4) Drama (5) Dream Children: A Reverie (1) E-book Download (23) Edgar Allan Poe (1) Edmund Spenser (3) Edward Fitzgerald (1) Edward II (3) Elegy (1) Elizabethan Era (2) Emily Dickinson (2) English Language (18) English Literature (9) English Literature Quiz (10) Escapism (1) Essay (12) Essays (12) Eugene O'Neill (8) Explanations (3) Feminism (3) Francis Bacon (4) Frankenstein (4) Free E-book Download (20) Free PDF Download (19) Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1) Genre (1) Geoffrey Chaucer (1) George Bernard Shaw (1) George Eliot (4) George Herbert (1) George Orwell (3) Girish Karnad (1) Graphic Novel (1) Haiku (1) Hard Times (1) Heart of Darkness (1) Henrik Ibsen (2) Henry Derozio (2) Henry Vaughan (2) Historical Novel (6) History of English Literature (22) Indian Drama (2) Indian English Poetry (2) Indian Fiction (7) Indian Writing in English (39) Indo-Anglican Literature (38) Interesting Facts (10) Interpreter of Maladies (2) Jane Austen (2) Jane Eyre (2) Jayanta Mahapatra (2) Jhumpa Lahiri (3) John Donne (5) John Dryden (1) John Galsworthy (3) John Keats (4) John Milton (2) Joseph Addison (1) Joseph Conrad (1) Justice (3) Kamala Markandaya (1) Keki N. Daruwalla (1) Kenilworth (3) Khaled Hosseini (1) Khushwant Singh (2) Kim (1) Knowledge and Wisdom (1) Leo Tolstoy (1) Linguistics (5) Literary Criticism (5) Literary Essay (9) Literary Facts (3) Literary MCQ (6) Literary Photo Album (1) Literary Terms (19) Literary Trends (2) Literary Types (9) Lord of the Flies (1) Lyric (1) M. K. Anand (2) Mac Flecknoe (1) Macbeth (8) Mahadevi Verma (2) Man Eater of Malgudi (2) Margaret Atwood (1) Mark Twain (1) Mary Shelley (4) Mathew Arnold (2) Midnight's Children (1) Modern Poetry (5) Modernism (1) Motivational Short Story (21) My Penning (1) Nayantara Sahgal (1) Notes (25) Novel (66) Novels (17) O' Henry (1) Ode to a Nightingale (1) Ode to the West Wind (1) Oedipus Rex. Oedipus the King (2) Of Friendship (1) On Fame (1) Online Quiz (9) Othello (1) P B Shelley (1) P. B. Shelley (1) Paul Auster (1) Paulo Coelho (2) Philological Notes (11) Phonetics (3) Picaresque Novel (6) Plays (49) Poetry (62) Popular Literature (1) Post Colonial Literature (2) Post Colonialism (1) Postmodernism (1) Pride and Prejudice (2) Prosody (3) Pygmalion (1) Quiz (6) Quotations (6) R. K. Narayan (2) Rabindranath Tagore (3) Raja Rao (1) Random Quiz (8) Rape of the Lock (5) Ray Bradbury (1) Realistic Fiction (1) Restoration Era (2) Rhetoric (3) Richard Wilbur (1) Robert Browning (1) Robert Frost (1) Robinson Crusoe (1) Romantic Poetry (3) Romanticism (2) Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1) Rudyard Kipling (1) Salman Rushdie (2) Samuel Beckett (4) Sarojini Naidu (1) Seven Ages of Man (1) Shakespearean Influence (2) Shakespearean Plays (13) Shakespearean Sonnets (4) Sheridan (4) Short Notes (11) Short Stories (11) Soliloquy (1) Songs of Experience (1) Songs of Innocence (2) Sons and Lovers (1) Sophocles (1) Sri Aurobindo (1) Substance Writing (1) Summary (8) Sylvia Plath (2) T. S. Eliot (2) Tennessee Williams (1) Texts (10) Thackeray (1) The Adventure of Tom Sawyer (1) The Alchemist (1) The Bell Jar (1) The Crucible (3) The Emperor Jones (7) The Golden Light (2) The Guide (1) The Mill on the Floss (4) The Namesake (1) The Pulley (2) The Rivals (5) The Shadow Lines (3) The Sunne Rising (5) The Superannuated Man (1) The Town Week (1) The White Tiger (1) The Winter's Tale (2) Things Fall Apart (2) Thomas Hardy (5) Thomas Wyatt (1) Toni Morrison (6) Tragedy (3) Tughlaq (1) UGC NET (1) Untouchable (2) W. B. Yeats (1) Waiting for Godot (3) Walter de la Mare (1) Walter Scott (3) Way of the World (1) William Blake (3) William Golding (1) William Shakespeare (16) William Wordsworth (3) Word Notes & Annotations (1) Word Notes & Anotations (2)
 
close