John Donne Poetry

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  • Created by: geeky96
  • Created on: 12-05-15 15:39

Negative portrayal of women:

"unpin that spangled breast-plate"- claiming women only seek attention from men and are very vain. (ELEGY XX)

"Hope not for mind in women, at their besy, sweetness and wit they are, but mummy, possess'd"- do not marry a smart woman, marry a sweet woman as women are made to be mothers (LOVE'S ALCHEMY)

"Now thou hast loved me one whole day"- women do not seek long-term relationships, do not care about the harm they may cause (WOMAN'S CONSTANCY)

"Purposed change and falsehood"- women are good liars, cannot be trusted (WOMAN'S CONSTANCY)

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Women portrayed as being the weaker sex:

"tells me from you that now it is bed-time"- patronising her, treating her like a child, portraying himself to be more dominant than her, suggesting men are stronger. (ELEGY XX)

"how little that which thou deniest me is"- virginity of men wasn't important, men could have pre-marital se, women couldn't. Men had more freedom than women. (THE FLEA)

"will he not let us alone"- presumes that whomever breaks into his coffin will be a male as men are physically stronger than women. (THE RELIC)

she's all states and all princes I"- she is his possession, she isn't a real person, he is more important than her (THE SUN RISING)

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Nature/ new found land

"busy old fool, unruly sun"-  sun is metaphorically god, watching them, keeping them safe, etc. Mocks god via the sun by calling him "old" and a "fool".  (THE SUN RISING)

"O, my America, my Newfoundland"- compares the lady of the poem to America to flatter her as America was new and rich. (ELEGY XX)


"Stone fountain weeping out my year"-  wishes to become this as he would have no emotions any longer. (TWICKENHAM GARDEN)

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Unrequinted love:

"Now thou hast loved me one whole day"- their love is over, she no longer feels a thing for him and so doesn't care whether he is hurt or not (WOMAN'S CONSTANCY)

"Blasted with sighs, and surrounded with tears"-love is portrayed to be painful, full of sadness and disappointment and no happiness(TWICKENHAM GARDEN)

"I am two fools, I know, for loving and for saying so"- is a fool for admitting his feelings to her and expecting her to feel the same way. Love is humiliating abd painful. (THE TRIPLE FOOL)

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Requinted love:

"mysterious by this love"- their lvoe was so deep and strong, it was a mystery to others how they could love so amazingly (THE CONONIZATION)

"sat we two, one another's best"- they were each others soulmate (THE ECSTASY)

"perchance might kiss"- their passion for one another never died (THE RELIC)

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God's strength:

"three-person'd God"- god is very powerful, reference to holy bible, spirit and ??? (HOLY XIV)

"for god's sake"- god is mentioned in serious topics, showing frustration (THE CONONIZATION)

"your force"- the strength to do anything (HOLY XIV)

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Donne seeking punishement:

"batter my heart"- seeks punishment from god for his terrible crimes (HOLY XIV)

"you ravish me"- can only escape from the devil if god forces him to as he lacks motivation and strength to be better (HOLY XIV)

"vex me"- seeks more punishment, to the point of begging for his punishment (HOLY SONNET 19)

"break, blow, burn"- imagery of hell and usgae of rule of three, emphasises on his need to seek redemption after punishment (HOLY XIV)

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Donne's fear of god

"best days, when I shake with fear"his fear of god keeps him in his place as he knows he'll be punished for any sins he commits (HOLY SONNET 19)

"your force to break, blow, burn"- imagery of hell used to emphasise Donne's knowledge of gods power and the afterlife that awaits him if he does anything wrong (HOLY XIV)

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Donne's relationship with God/religion:

"inconstancy" and "riddlingly"- his faith in god is unreliable, like a riddle, sometimes he is passionate about god and religion and other times he is not  (HOLY SONNET 19)

"yet dearly I love you"- no matter what, he loves god and his religion and is loyal to him  (HOLY XIV)

"busy old fool"- uses the metaphor of the sun as to be god, disrespects good by calling him a "fool", clearly has no respect or love towards god at this stage of his life (THE SUN RISING)

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