Valediction Forbidding Mourning

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  • Valediction Forbidding Mourning
    • Structure
      • Iambic tetrameter. Upbeat, bouncy rhythm = optimism or inappropriate for subject matter?
      • ABAB rhyme = even and controlled representing a calm state of mind. Strong arguement. Playful bouncy tone to rhyme
        • Arguement touched by emotion or lovingly intimate that expresses extreme feeling through arguement?
      • Syntax 'eyes, lips, hands' (also 'erect)  contain commas, therefore pause when reading it, draws attention to words - focus on body = contradictory?
    • Imagery
      • Petrarchan convention of 'tear floods' and 'sigh tempests'. Yet subverts by saying 'no' or 'nor = rejecting convention of lovers and society.
      • Love as religion; other lovers are 'laity' - commoners. Gives them a divine position; canonization.
        • The fall of Adam and Eve; 'sublunary' = below the moon, not with heavenly spheres.
      • Gender equality? 'our two souls which are one' no separation of 'mine' and 'yours. Also 'thy soul the fixed foot' suggests a security to love of soul as oppose to body
      • legal terminology 'breach' = a break of the law = serious. However they 'expand...' which is not illegal, suggesting the parting is not serious
      • connotations of difficulty ' endure' 'must go' and 'beat' monosyllables add force to the words; more serious
      • 'gold to airy thinness beat' 'beat' = violent vs. 'airy'; their love is delicate and parting is painful but still has value! BUT is economic value superficial?
      • Compasses- 'circle' image = continuous, doesn't break- just like them. Also no end or beginning.
    • Techniques
      • Sibalance; 'soul is sense' - physical love. Sounds like a serpent (connotations of satan in G. of Eden)
        • Uses 'm' sound when referring to them 'melt' 'mild' 'moving' = softer sound  = purity.
      • Use of conceit. 'stiff' = forced/ unnatural. 'firmness'= rigid- not words associated with love. Compasses also hard and cold (however metaphysical poets made conceits from unexpected images (Flea)
        • Firmness could indicate firm control of emotion or a steady relationship.Use of other words such as 'warm' and 'hearken'
    • AO4
      • Neoplatonism- 'whisper to their souls to go' 'our two souls therefore which are one', 'virtuous' 'mild' - better to love soul that physical 'sublunary lovers'
      • Astronomy; 'trepidation of the spheres' Ptolemy believed the spheres trembled but wasn't felt. 'harms and fears' unnecessary as they are 'innocent'. Fear of new science discovery ovecome.
      • 'compass' = discovery/ self discovery. Particularly current affair ; Donne uses modern images- metaphysical quality?
        • Compass hs 3 functions here; measuring, opening/closing, and drawing a circle- and all needs are fulfilled with a single tool- all they need is each other for the journey.


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