Donne Critical Viewpoints
‘His greatness stems from the subtleties of tone that convey his remarkably modern awareness of the instability of the self.’
‘The conflict between spiritual piety and physical carnality, as embodied by religion and love, remains unparalleled.’
[Metaphysical poets demonstate] ‘A fusion of thought and feeling, in which the intellect is a powerful crafting instrument’.
‘The ever present certainty of death, in a turbulent age, provoked intense responses’
‘It is reason which raises man above the lower orders of creation and links him to the higher… it provides his questioning, his demands, his understanding. Thus he has a limited power over his immediate destiny’.
[Written work by Donne] ‘Religious writings such as pamphlets, meditations, sermons, and a treatise defending suicide, as well as his poems and letters… these documents taken together suggest a man of deep contradictions.’
‘Donne and his contemporaries tended to see the whole universe as interconnected, and as centred on man.’
‘We have the sense in Donne that nothing stays still…which suggests the issue of Donne’s intellectual restlessness and leads on to his use of the conceit’.
[John Dryden] ‘Donne affects the metaphysics not only in his satires, but in…