Woman's Constancy 

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  • Woman's Constancy
    • Now thou hast loved me one whole day,/ Tomorrow when thou leav'st me what wilt thou say?
      • starts with a question - lack of surety
        • however appears sure woman will leave
      • starts with a trochee rhythm already disturbed
      • couplet gives a false sense of security
    • Wilt thou then antedate some new-made vow?
      • legal language - going back on promises
      • visual ident following - inconstancy of line length - visual inconstancy
        • Or say that now
          • We are not those persons which we were?
            • Woman's Constancy
              • Now thou hast loved me one whole day,/ Tomorrow when thou leav'st me what wilt thou say?
                • starts with a question - lack of surety
                  • however appears sure woman will leave
                • starts with a trochee rhythm already disturbed
                • couplet gives a false sense of security
              • Wilt thou then antedate some new-made vow?
                • legal language - going back on promises
                • visual ident following - inconstancy of line length - visual inconstancy
                  • Or say that now
                    • We are not those persons which we were?
                • oaths made in reverential fear/ Of Love, and his wrath, any may foreswear?
                  • oath made under duress doesn't count
                    • castoff, shirking of responsibility - the passing of blame, he's is predicting her turn around on him
                  • love personified
                • Or, as true deaths, true marriages untie/ So lovers' contracts, images of those,/ Bind but till sleep, death's image, them unloose?
                  • his imagery reflects an image or an idea. each one becomes less sincere, each image is belittled by him stating it
                  • His questioning becomes increasingly petulant and demanding
                • Or, your own end to justify,/ For having purposed change and falsehood, you/ Can have no way but falsehood to be true?
                  • in reality is a statement, his questioning appears almost pointless showing his anger and certainty in this prediction
                  • falsehood is all you know
                  • The questions end at this point? How come, is it because the simplicity of her false nature is all he needs? He has completely destroyed her image.
                • critics and context
                  • Coleridge said should be called mutual inconstancy
                  • the problem of woman's constancy was a typical petrarchan struggle
                    • Silvia Ruffo Fiore: Donne's  cycnism is not original: "he varies or redefines them in the context of personal experience"
                • Vain lunatic, against these 'scapes I could/ Dispute, and conquer, if I would
                  • Donne cannot let the woman be triumphant - poem again reverts to his own conditional supremacy.
                  • Lunatic refers to moon and it symbol of inconstancy
                • For by tomorrow, I may think so too.
                  • Donne ends with a sort of symmetry but also a high level of irony. He is better because his constancy lasts one day longer...
                • rhyme, rhythm and punctuation
                  • starts and ends with a conclusive statement. creating a symmetry in inconstancy. Arguably the 3 line length of the last phrase could be a pictorial representation of his comparative longevity.
                  • rhyme is inconsistant. AABB CCC DEED FFGGHH
                  • poem consists largely of questions (6) and these grow in line length (1,1,2,2,3,3) he works towards his 4 line conclusion
                  • rhythm is inconsitant trhoughout. for example starts on a trochee
      • oaths made in reverential fear/ Of Love, and his wrath, any may foreswear?
        • oath made under duress doesn't count
          • castoff, shirking of responsibility - the passing of blame, he's is predicting her turn around on him
        • love personified
      • Or, as true deaths, true marriages untie/ So lovers' contracts, images of those,/ Bind but till sleep, death's image, them unloose?
        • his imagery reflects an image or an idea. each one becomes less sincere, each image is belittled by him stating it
        • His questioning becomes increasingly petulant and demanding
      • Or, your own end to justify,/ For having purposed change and falsehood, you/ Can have no way but falsehood to be true?
        • in reality is a statement, his questioning appears almost pointless showing his anger and certainty in this prediction
        • falsehood is all you know
        • The questions end at this point? How come, is it because the simplicity of her false nature is all he needs? He has completely destroyed her image.
      • critics and context
        • Coleridge said should be called mutual inconstancy
        • the problem of woman's constancy was a typical petrarchan struggle
          • Silvia Ruffo Fiore: Donne's  cycnism is not original: "he varies or redefines them in the context of personal experience"
      • Vain lunatic, against these 'scapes I could/ Dispute, and conquer, if I would
        • Donne cannot let the woman be triumphant - poem again reverts to his own conditional supremacy.
        • Lunatic refers to moon and it symbol of inconstancy
      • For by tomorrow, I may think so too.
        • Donne ends with a sort of symmetry but also a high level of irony. He is better because his constancy lasts one day longer...
      • rhyme, rhythm and punctuation
        • starts and ends with a conclusive statement. creating a symmetry in inconstancy. Arguably the 3 line length of the last phrase could be a pictorial representation of his comparative longevity.
        • rhyme is inconsistant. AABB CCC DEED FFGGHH
        • poem consists largely of questions (6) and these grow in line length (1,1,2,2,3,3) he works towards his 4 line conclusion
        • rhythm is inconsitant trhoughout. for example starts on a trochee

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