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“The Sun Rising” by John Donne Essay

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 that his lover and his self are much happier than the sun, which is half as happy.

Conceits are plentiful in this poem by John Donne. One of these conceits is on line 1 where the speaker calls the sun a “Busy old fool” that is “unruly”. Donne believes that his bedroom is the whole universe and the sun a rude intruder. The sun, regular in its mover across the sky every twenty-four hours is called “unruly,” that is poorly behaved, or without respect for the rules of authority. Here the lovers have their own world and their own rules. It may be sunrise but Donne and his lover do not want to get up just yet. The sun is also “saucy, pedantic wretch” (line 5). The sun isn’t just annoying and unruly but rude and disrespectful as well. The sun’s insistence on measuring out days and nights is called “pedantic.” The speaker wants the sun to go and leave them alone.

The theme of the sun controlling and invading the lives of everyone and everything is evident in many locations in this poem. On line 3, which is a paradox, the speaker asks the sun why it “calls on us.” This shows the sun is invading the lives of the speaker and his lover in which they have their own season, “lovers’ season.”

John Done has incorporated many of the metaphysical characteristics into this poem entitled “The Sun Rising.” He uses paradoxes and conceits to demonstrate his theme that the sun controls and invades the lives of everyone, and everything.

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