Good Friday John Donne

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  • Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward
    • Structure
      • 1 single stanza= 'endless day' or tiresome journey
      • Rhythm mirrors movement of riding horse
      • Rhyming couplets = strong argument and logical.
    • Imagery
      • Conceit of a soul being a planet. Metaphysical technique
      • Compares astronomy to god and city life 'hurried every day' 'pleasure or business' = accessible to reader
      • Journeys; 'carried towards the' west' Makes him powerless. But 'souls form bends towards the east'
      • Religious images; 'eternally benighted all' darkness of original sin and 'who sees God's face... must die' Exodus reference
        • God's power 'span poles' 'turn all spheres' (men) 'Zenith... antipodes' omnipresent
      • Guilt; 'spectacle of too much weight for me' also Christs death = awe-inspiring
      • Military semantic; 'lieutenant nature shrinks' Nature believed to be God's second in command= powerful
      • Nature; 'footstool crack' = earthquake. 'sun wink' = eclipse. Also 'tree' is the cross and G. of Eden tree.
      • Suffering; 'pierced' hands, 'blood', 'dirt of dust', 'flesh... worn' , 'ragged and torn'. Violent language.
      • Mary as mother; 'miserable mother' (Ancient practice of Mary at foot of cross). Alliteration emphasises
      • Appearance vs. reality 'be from mine eye' 'unto my memory'
      • Violence of HS14 'burn off my rusts' 'punish me' 'deformity'. Wants God's punishment rather than be ignored by him.
    • Techniques
      • Wordplay 'whirled by it' (world), 'sun' (son).
        • Ambiguity behind words; 'rising' of christ? of cross? and 'set' = death
      • Personifies sun 'sun wink' (son?)
      • Hyperbole 'O think me' 'O burn off my rusts'
      • Imperatives 'restore thine image' (mankinds original state)
    • AO4
      • Astronomy 'let mans's soul be a sphere'
        • 'intellience' is a divine source of power that moves the planets
        • 'subject to foreign motions' and 'our first mover' (primum mobile was a nother powerful force that could goven planets and changes the natural direction of west to east to east to west.
      • neoplatonism; 'the intelligence that moves' the soul is GOd. Moves soul not body= deeper love
        • 'souls form bends towards the east' Like Valediction F.M. Souls joined (him and christ - deep platonic love"
      • 'Endless day' = eternal life for christians.
        • Further religious context; earth believed to be God's 'footstool' ( authorotative)


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