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John Donne Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Donne’s Poetry

This essay will look at the form, structure and content of “The Relic” in an attempt to offer an explanation as to what the poem is about. It will examine the metaphysical poets, and discuss the techniques employed by them to express their views. “The Relic” consists of three 11-line stanzas which incorporate tetrameter (four metrical feet), pentameter (five metrical feet) and two tri-meter (three metrical feet) lines per stanza. It is written mainly in iambic pentameter and has a rhyming pattern of aabbcddceee. This gives the poem a songlike quality which is associated with this type of lyric poetry. Each stanza is made up of a single sentence which, with the help of the meter, forces the first four…

Metaphysical Poetry

The metaphysical poets is a term coined by the poet and critic John Dryden to describe a loose group of British lyric poets of the 17th century, whose work was characterized by the inventive use of conceits, and by speculation about topics such as love or religion. These poets were not formally affiliated; most of them did not even know or read each other. Their style was characterized by wit and metaphysical conceits—far-fetched or unusual similes or metaphors, such as in Andrew Marvell’s comparison of the soul with a drop of dew; in an expanded epigram format, with the use of simple verse forms, octosyllabic couplets, quatrains or stanzas in which length of line and rhyme scheme enforce the sense….

John Donne’s poetry

The imagery in John Donne’s poetry emphasizes the pleasure humans derive from sensual experiences. He uses intricately related comparisons to illustrate how the most basic acts are infinitely meaningful and vice versa. In fact, his use of metaphysical conceits, in Elegy 19: To His Mistress Going to Bed and several of his Holy Sonnets either elevates the sexual act to the level of a religious experience or diminishes the latter to the level of the former. Firstly, to understand the strangeness of the imagery in Donne’s poetry, one must consider the purpose of the metaphysical conceit and his use of it. According to the Norton Anthology, a metaphysical conceit is a more intellectualized, many-leveled comparison that gives a strong sense…

Figure of Speech in A Valediction

John Donne’s “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” is an amazing love poem with beautiful figurative language, a farewell to Donne’s wife before their long partition. The writer assures his loved the parting will do no harm and praises on their endless love. With his competent writing style using extended metaphors, comparisons along with connotation and denotation throughout the poem, Donne expresses his belief in the strength of their angelic love to get through the physical separation. In 1611, John Donne had to leave for a Europe trip, leaving behind his pregnant wife (Brackett). He wrote this poem as a farewell pledging his wife on their reunion and suggesting her not to be sorrowful. The writer uses several methods of figure of…

John Donne’s The Funeral

“As with most poets of his time, Donne was obsessed with death. Mesmerized by its mysteries, charmed by its allure, and convinced of the existence of an afterlife (as a result of Christian theology), he finds himself at times unable to settle on a particular view of the subject. While a considerable portion of Donne’s opus deals with death either directly or indirectly, some poems depict death as insignificant while others present it as something he, and therefore humans, should fear. As a Christian, Donne believed (although perhaps did not understand) the concept of an afterlife. This conviction is shown by his understanding of death as a necessary stage before reaching the glory of heaven, the promised life with God”…

The Anaylitical Approach to John Donne’s “The Apparition”

John Donne was to most, considered a metaphysical poet, or a poet who finds their inspiration on expressing the world not as it would be universally revealed but in the world as science and philosophy account it. The poem “The Apparition” lacks many of the general characteristics that distinguish metaphysical poetry but continues to be classified as a metaphysical representation (Norton, 1). “The Apparition” contains at least three transformations of feeling. The manifestation success of this relationship gives the speaker so much pleasure that he revokes the suggestion he suggested in the beginning, the idea of threatening his lover into more agreeable behavior because he believes he would enjoy her chastisement more than her reformation. The speaker of the poem…

“The Sun Rising” by John Donne

In “The Sun Rising,” by John Donne, there are many metaphysical characteristics. These characteristics are made up primarily of paradoxes and conceits. The theme also contributes to these metaphysical characteristics. The paradoxes are spread out thought the entire poem. The first is “Why dost thou thus, / Through windows and through curtains, call on us” (line 2-3). This is because the sun doesn’t call on anyone; this is also personification because the sun is given speech, a characteristic of humans. Another paradox that uses personification is on line 12, “Why shouldst thou think?” on this line the speaker is asking the sun why it doesn’t think. On line 25,”Thou, sun, art half as happy as we…” the speaker is stating…

Metaphysical Poetry

Metaphysical poetry arose as a reaction to the extremes of Petrarchism; one problem with Petrarchan poems is a kind of predictability-the conceit is found, presented, & elaborated, but there are few subsequent surprises. Donne and his followers like to catch us off-guard, change direction, etc., to foil expectations. Metaphysical poetry is, in general, characterized by its ingenuity, intellectuality, and frequent obscurity. In terms of subject matter, metaphysicals reject not only Petrarchan rhetoric but also the pose of abject worship of the mistress which sonneteers had inherited via Petrarch from the troubadours; in its place they put sexual realism and an interest in introspective psychological analysis of the emotions of love and religion (sometimes expressing the one in terms of the…

John Donne’s poems: Holy Sonnet 10 and Meditation 17

Donne’s view of death is not one of a cynic. He is a man who regards death not as the final battle of life, but rather in the Christian sense, of it being just a transfer of the soul from the earthly plain to its final destination. He considers death not to be an event to be held in fear, but one that is to be understood. He believes so strongly in this philosophy that in Sonnet 10, he instructs people not to fear death. He insults death, personifying it as a person who has a far greater reputation than he has earned. He tells death not to pride itself in its reputation of a “mighty and dreadful” horror even…

The Canonization by John Donne

The Canonization by John Donne Love is true and pure, a divine experience, a way to live more and to surpass even death. It is a sublime fantasy that is real and better than the material world. Love is life’s paradox. This is the idea that John Donne is expressing in the poem The Canonization. It is a reply as well as a declaration that the poet makes to the world- a world that treats lovers harshly. He scorns the worldly, he questions the inquisitive, he proves the myths true, he places his love high and announces it as canonized. The sudden change in his tone doesn’t bother if one recognizes the powerful and apt imagery he has used in…