Holy Sonnet 14

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  • Holy Sonnet 14
    • Structure
      • Petrarchan structure but with rhyming couplet; ABBAABBAC DCDEE
        • Traditionally a love poem- he makes it more sexual and violent. STRIKING
      • Lots of punctuation- fragmented syntax reflects internal conflict. ' I, like a usurped town, to another due,'
    • Imagery
      • God as a craftsman repairing a damaged vessel 'knock, breathe shin and seek to mend' +ve connotations vs. 'break, blow burn'.
        • Alliteration of violent consonants 'break, blow, burn' mirrors violent tone.
        • This is also biblical language; 'behold i stand at the door and knock' and 'thieves who break through and steal'
      • Military language; 'usurped town' 'to another due' Violence in military semantic field. Satan has usurped him (he is vulnerable/ victimises himself?)
        • 'viceroy' is a someone who rules on behalf of an absent sovereign. Gives Devil power
      • Marriage; 'but i am betrothed unto your enemy' woman married against will (AO4)- makes himself female and victim again.
        • Donne as a woman; 'labour to admit you' = womanly pain. Also 'weak' and 'untrue' have connotations of female infidelity
        • cannot be 'free' or 'chaste' as 'betrothed'. 'Divorce me' blasphemous. Anglican belief; ;'those who God hath joined together, let no man put assunder'
          • AO4
            • Paradox also found in Jesus' teachings 'he who loses life shall find it'
            • Neoplatonism- Donne's use of paradox may come from his belief that the competing demands of the body and soul are a paradox
      • Holy trinity; 'three personned God.'
      • Strong feeling; 'yet deary I love you' something he never says to his mistresses.
    • Techniques
      • 'renews a jaded religious language'
      • Alliteration of violent consonants 'break, blow, burn' mirrors violent tone.
      • Lists 'break, blow, burn' etc. quicken pace and adds drama. Dismissive? or fearful?
        • God as a craftsman repairing a damaged vessel 'knock, breathe shin and seek to mend' +ve connotations vs. 'break, blow burn'.
          • This is also biblical language; 'behold i stand at the door and knock' and 'thieves who break through and steal'
      • power of 3; religious number ('3 personned God' 'break, blow, burn'
      • Paradox;  Must remain 'chaste' but asks God to 'ravish me'. Sexual connotations extremely inappropriate/ blasphemous
      • Imperatives 'take me to you' 'imprison me' subservient yet demanding- PARADOX
    • AO4
      • Paradox also found in Jesus' teachings 'he who loses life shall find it'
      • Neoplatonism- Donne's use of paradox may come from his belief that the competing demands of the body and soul are a paradox

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