Summary: Elements Of Renaissance In The Poems By Shakespeare and Donne

The renaissance word means 'rebirth.' In the English Renaissance, this rebirth refers to a of learning, especially in terms of new beliefs and ways of doing things differently from the Middle Ages. Important features of the Renaissance include a renewed interest in classical a rise in humanist philosophy (a belief in self, human worth, and individual dignity); and radical changes in ideas about religion, politics, and science.

The metaphysical poetry is a fruit of renaissance poetry . Donn was a major figure of metaphysical age.

John Donne is widely considered to be the great master of 17th century British poetry . The renaissance poets include the perspective of death and write about both religious and non-religiois themes. Donn also write about love poems as well as divine poems . The element of death can also be seen in his poetry. In his poem My Plays Last Scene and Batter my Heart , there is theme of death .

In Renaissance period , people have been acknowledge science , reasoning and declining of church were also there .

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There were two parties Catholic and Protestant . People were moving away from religion . The literary figures of that age have written about religious and non-religious themes. In Donn's age people were also declining religion and move towards science . Donn write about both love as well as divine poems . For example his love poems are The Sun Rising, A Valediction :forbidding mourning. And divine are Batter my Heart, My Play's Last scene.

Donne's work emerges of late Elizabethan England. However his metaphysical love poetry in particular is not what one generally expects from Elizabethan poetry.

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Although Donne has also written many sonnets most of his love poetry is not of the Petrarchan fashion. Most of Donne's love poetry is entirely creative and unconventional in form, content and style. He uses far-fetched images in his poetry. His language is highly imaginative, very passionate, full of wit and some of his love poems like 'The Flea' contain highly erotic allusions. There is another common element in Donne's love poetry is that the majority of his poems - e.g. the erotic lyric 'The Flea', the mutual love poem “The Canonization” or the sonnet “Battered by my Heart” - present an argumentative structure and a speaker that uses elaborate plans of persuasion trying to make a point addressing a beloved persona. The subject are typically not just lovers who lament about rejected love and paint a picture of his platonised love for an idealised but unreachable woman, but instead Donne's subjects appear as rather confident lovers demonstrating an original way of wooing as well as a wide variety of moods that can emerge from the feelings of love.Metaphysical poetry typically employs uncommon verse forms, complex figures of speech applied to elaborate and metaphorical conceits, and learned themes discussed according to eccentric and unexpected chains of reasoning. Donne’s poetry exhibits each of these characteristics. Donn's shaking, remarkable meters; his liking for abstract puns and double entendres; his often uncommon metaphors (in one poem he compares love to a carnivorous fish; in another he beg with God to make him pure by raping him); and his process of oblique reasoning are all characteristic traits of the metaphysicals, unified in Donne as in no other poet.

Donne is worthable not simply as a representative writer but also as a highly unique one. Donn the man of contradictions: As a minister in the Anglican Church, Donne have a deep spirituality that informed his writing throughout his life; but as a man, Donne have a carnal lust for life, sensation, and experience. Donn has written about religious as divine porma and love poema also. Donne mixes the themes of the physical and the spiritual over the course of his career, Donne gave sublime expression to both realms.His dispute inclinations often cause Donne to contradict himself. However, his contradictions are representative of the powerful contrary forces at work in Donn's poetry rather than of sloppy thinking or inconsistency. Donne, was after Shakespeare, took advantage of his divided nature to become the greatest metaphysical poet of the seventeenth century; among the poets of inner conflict, he is the greatest of all time.

Compare the poems by Shakespeare and Donne. Show how, though written in the same era and both connecting love the two parts have different styles through which to express their ideas. Both these poems were written in the late 16th to early 17th centuries. This is shown by the language used and the things they write about in their poems. They are romantic and loving poems. John Donne's poem 'The Sun Rising' is a poem written by a man who is talking to a woman he is lying in bed with. The whole poem is a conceit in that the man is talking to the sun. Despite the fact that it is a love poem the first verse starts off in an angry tone. The man is angry with the sun for waking him up as he wants to stay in bed with the woman. Donne uses argumentative language and aggressive lines and the use of staccato, onomatopoeic words show that the man is angry. 'Busie old foole, unruly sunne, Why dost thou thus,' However, this is mock anger as he is showing off to the girl he is in bed with and wants to compliment her and try to amuse her.

'Thou art more lovely and more temperate. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,' The onomatopoeic words rough and shake are used to make the wind sound aggressive. Shakespeare used the word 'darling' as a loving word to describe the summer which, at the time the sonnet was written would have been in May. Shakespeare then starts to complain and list all the bad things about summer so as to compliment the patron even more. He complains about the sun by saying sometimes it is too hot and sometimes it doesn't shine enough or gets cloudy. It is written using personification, as in Donne's poem, by speaking of the sun as if it is a real person. 'Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd' The alliteration and repetition used in the next line slows the reader down and so gives the impression of time passing which compliments what Shakespeare is saying that every thing fair will eventually change for the worse. 'And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, of natures changing course, untrimm'd;' The second verse of 'The sunne rising' starts with Donne still talking to the sun but rhetorically asking it why it thinks it is so powerful and impressive, because he can hide its. 'Princes do but play us; compared to this, All honours mimique; All wealth alchimie.' Next Donne turns his attention to the sun and shows sympathy for it. Donne appears to be worried that it is too old to still be rotating round the world every day (They still thought that the sun went round the earth)and the use of repetition of the letter 's' makes the reader slow down to indicate the sun's age. 'Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties bee To warm the world that's done in warming us.' Donne offers the sun an alternative of instead of going round the whole earth he only needs to shine on them because the whole world is in the bed.

The poem ends by saying that the woman is everything to him and 'This bed thy centre is, these walls thy sphere.' The main themes of both these poems are love and flattery however this is displayed in different ways. In Donne's poem the flattery is obvious yet subtle at the same time and it is written from a man to a woman. Shakespeare's flattery however, is more obvious and it is a poet writing about a young man. Donne's poetry is very heartfelt as, unlike Shakespeare, he did not have to write flatteringly, he really meant it.

Updated: Feb 02, 2024
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Summary: Elements Of Renaissance In The Poems By Shakespeare and Donne. (2024, Feb 02). Retrieved from

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