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The Lamb Vs. the Rose: A Comparison of William Blake

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Essay title: The Lamb Vs. the Rose: A Comparison of William Blake

In the poem The Lamb, and the poem The Sick Rose, William Blake speaks in first person as though he is talking to someone. In The Lamb, Blake is talking to a lamb about the existence of that lamb and asking questions such as who created it, and who commands the lamb. In the second verse of the poem Blake continues on in first person, explaining to the lamb exactly who made it and who was responsible for giving it life. In The Sick Rose, Blake also uses the first person to talk to the “sick rose”. He uses the first person tense to tell the “rose” about the worm that has found out it’s bed and destroyed life.

In the poem The Sick Rose, William Blake does a great job of using words in a creative way so as to create an imagery that makes it possible to interpret the poem in many different ways. Blake speaks of a sick rose that has been destroyed by an “invisible worm that flies in the nite.” (Blake, 2-3) He also speaks of how the worm has found out the “bed of crimson joy” and how “his dark secret love does thy life destroy.” (Blake, 5-8) This could be in reference to several things. I have heard suggestions such as the worm symbolizing everything from pregnancy to dying of old age. I think that it symbolizes diseases such as aids and HIV and how they attack but only as the result of storms of lust and how they find out the “bed of crimson joy.” (Blake, 5-6) However, in his poem The Lamb, Blake is straightforward and even though he uses descriptive and colorful words, the meaning of the poem is quite clear. He talks to a lamb about the source of its existence and the creator of the little lamb. In the first verse Blake asks about all the things that make the little lamb who it is. He asks about everything from who gave the lamb life to who gave the lamb food, a soft exterior, and the soft voice that makes the lamb special. In fact, the very last sentence of the first verse repeats the main question when Blake asks “Dost thou know who made thee?” (Blake, 10) In the second verse however, Blake returns to answer everything the first paragraph questioned. He starts off enthusiastically as though he is excited at the opportunity to share exactly who was responsible for the beautiful little lamb. He also relates himself and the little lamb to this God when he shares how Christ “calls himself a lamb” and how Christ also “became a little child” such as himself. (Blake, 14, 16)

Throughout both

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