Universal symbol of an idealised woman Essay
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Donne becomes jealous of her bust that surrounds her breasts because not only is it right next to what he desires but also it remains stiff whereas he is beginning to lose his erection: “Off with that happy busk, which I envy, that still can be , and still can stand so high. ” His frustration in the situation is starting to make his self esteem lapse; Donne thinks that the power that women wield is enough to cause you to lose confidence.
To Donne she is a natural figure and therefore he begins to compare her to organic subjects, he talks about how she is like a beautiful meadow having been revealed from the hills shadow: “Your gown going off, such beauteous state reveals, as when from flowery meads th’hill’s shadow steals. ” Donne believes that love and women are natural and blossoming and that they should be treated like they are as integrated as trees and hills.
Donne also compares his ideal woman to a continent that he is about to explore: “O my America my new found land” He feels so much for this woman and wants her so badly that he compares to a place that he wishes to rove and discover her body and experience sexual arousal. He sees women as a new and exciting experience and love the reward.
Swift never gives his subject such respect and praise as to compare her to a country but instead likes to make fun of this poor woman and at the same time have a go at the religious activities at the time: “But never from religious Clubs whose favour is she sure to find. ” Here he suggests that she does not get in trouble because she gives sexual favours to corrupt priests and other religious kinds, he finds women and Religion as deceitful and untrustworthy as each other.
Donne’s poem is addressing one woman but it seems that this woman is not one that he has met or encountered but rather a woman that represents everything that he believes to be special and important about women. Although the imagery set up by Donne by his words give the impression of a dramatic situation were he is actually talking to his beloved, it is possible to see her as a universal symbol of an idealised woman; Donne obviously feels that woman are an extremely important part of life and without them there would not be love and without that his life would not be complete.
At one point he even compares his ‘universal’ woman to god, by saying that god gives grace to certain people on earth and women give their grace (their heaven) which is their bodies to certain men: “Whom their imputed grace will dignify must see revealed. ” He believes that women have the power of god because they can give their bodies to certain men and to a man a woman’s body is like heaven on earth. This figure represents Donne’s ideal woman, he is worshipping a figure that believes to be more important than a lot of things in life.
He sees her as an elevated subject to which respect must be laid, this concept is not so much heroic but has touches of classical poetry, it is not heroic because the language used is not elaborate enough and nor does in have connotations to other heroes. But the way in which he praises an elevated subject is like how classical poets praised gods. The way in which both address their subject is very important because Donne is direct we are encapsulated by her and we feel pulled in just as he is. By talking to her in direct speech it makes the scene more dramatic and exciting.
But Swift talks about his subject in the third person, which keeps her at arm’s length just as we would if we met this woman. The verse that each poet uses is also important in their conveying of themes and ideas; Swift uses iambic tetrameter which was used in comic poetry because it makes the verse simple. He uses the Caesura in each line effectively as well, sometimes he has it early and others it is late depending on what he wants to emphasise in the line. Donne uses iambic pentameter which is a far more orthodox method of writing at that time.