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the lamb

            In the poem "The Lamb" by William Blake, Blake writes about a boy talking to a little lamb and the boy is asking the lamb question about who made the lamb. The poem "The lamb" creates a poetic tension between the natural lamb and the supernatural lamb that reflects the Dionysian/Apollonian duality. The poet creates poetic tension by constructing two opposite forces in a poem and contrasting them. Theses two forces can be defined as the Dionysian and Apollonian duality. According to Nietzsche the terms Dionysian and Apollonian were borrowed from the two art deities Apollo and Dionysus of the Greeks. Apollonian represents the art of sculpture while Dionysian represents the art of music. Both of these dualities run parallel to each other and create tension in a poem when contrasted. (Nietzsche).
             In the poem Blake is able to create a tension by comparing the natural lamb to the supernatural lamb, which is Jesus. In the first stanza Blake writes about the Dionysian aspect of the duality. The little boy asks the natural lamb if he knows who made the lamb "Little lamb who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee?" After receiving no answer he proceeds to give characteristics of the natural lamb. The boy gives characteristics such as "Gave thee clothing of delight, softest clothing wooly bright;" and " Gave thee such a tender voice," both of these characteristics are meant to make the natural lamb seem meek, mild and innocent. After telling the lamb of its characteristics the boy goes on to ask the lamb again who made the lamb "Little lamb, who made the? Dost thou know who made thee?" This stanza represents the Dionysian because the natural lamb has a life and a death. .
             In the second stanza Blake writes of the apollonian half of the duality. The boy after not receiving any answer from his questions in the first stanza decides to tell the lamb who made the lamb "Little Lamb, I"ll tell thee, Little Lamb, I"ll tell thee!" The boy tells the natural lamb of another lamb "For he called himself a Lamb;" The boy also gives chartaristics of this supernatural lamb which relate closely to the characteristic of the natural lamb given in stanza one.

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