The Good Morrow


Form & Structure

Structure - Sonnet - 21 lines

  • Sonnets are usually 14 lines e.g. an Italian Sonnet which consists of an octate > the problem (8 lines) and a sestet > the solution (6 lines)
  • Even though it is not structured this way Donne comes to the conclusion that without each other they would be nothing
  • Regular Rhyme, Regular Rhythm > implies taht he is very certain of himself (4R's)


  • No specific form
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Stanza 1 - Language

Title - The Good Morrow > Symbolises Morning & the sun rising 

Donne is... In Media Res (In the middle of things) > himself and his lover are in bed 

"I wonder by my troth" > Abbreviation of betrothed displays they are together

"sucked on country pleasures" > Elizabethan way of talking about oral sex but 'country' is typlically seen as more innocent than the city

"snorted" > snored signifies they were oblivious in the "seven sleepers den" > Christian youths that hid in a cave to escape religous persecution and when exit was blocked they fell into a deep sleep, after 200 years they awoke and Christianity triumphed > Donne was asleep before he found his lover

The use of the semi-colon ";" > How life previously was existential (Donne is wondering who he was and where he came from before his troth)

CENTRAL CONCEIT > Donne and his lover were asleep before but now they are awake they should venture out together and have freedom

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Stanza 2 - Language

Donne's Realisation 

'good morrow to our waking souls' > Religous Awakening - Donne realises that now they are together they can understand God more & have a love for God (agape) > they form an unconditional love

'Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one' > one soul together again 

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Stanza 3 - Language

"my face in thine eye, thine in mine appears" > Donne illustrates that he is reflected in her world and she is reflected in his and they share this, so as a result they become one

"where can we find two better hemispheres" without the 'sharp North' or without the '"declining West" > Neoplatonism progresses to the idea that everyone only focuses on matter/bodies physical appearance rather than the soul and descending for the world to be just > presents Donne and his lover as better compared to the rest of the universe

Finishes at --

"Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die" > slacken conveys an erection/phallic imagery and that at every o r g a s m your lifespan shortened > Donne aspires for a love unlike this that is immortal

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AO5 - Different Interpretations

Donne's "love poems are a veil for religious perturbation" - Carey

(Perturbation= disquiet/ concerns)

Agree > Shows how the rest of the world lack love for spirituality

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