John Donne - Contextual Points

  • Challenged typical forms of Elizabethan poetry 
  • Wanted economy of language and to awaken his readership, to get society to sit up and take notice
  • Women played a prominent role in his literary life
  • Fell in love with Anne More who died at 33
  • Influence of Plato and the fusion of the sould - souls believed to be feminine and contained within the blood
  • Remembered today as the leading exponent of a style of verse known as "Metaphysical poetry", which flourished in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. 
  • His poetry exhibits characteristics which include unusual verse forms, complex figures of speech applied to elaborate and surprising metaphorical conceits and learned themes discussed according to eccentric and unexpected chains of reasoning. 
  • His jarring, unusual…


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