Analysis Of Meditation Iv By John Donne

1333 words - 5 pages

The opening statement of John Donne’s Meditation IV sets a disposition for the whole article. “..Except God, Man is a diminutive to nothing” (Donne 23) is saying man is bigger than the world; excluding the fact that God conquers and controls all. Man is in control of his own life, but God controls his fate. It is also stating that the world is nothing in comparison to man and is not as complex. Donne’s numerous comparisons between human anatomy and nature shows how man’s complexity overcomes the world and is therefore considered bigger than it. Man’s veins are used in comparison to simple rivers and muscles to hills to justify his complexity over the world. This analogy is used to show just how closely related humans are to nature, yet still closer in comparison and controlled by God. God is the puppet master of all, and “…has fixed the order of nature” (Aquinas 79) . He has made man the only species with direct connection to Him. The Lord says, “The works that I do, he also shall do, and greater than these shall he do” (87).Donne continues his comparison by stating “…as the whole world hath nothing, to which something in man doth not answere, so hath man many pieces, of which the whole world hath no representation” (Donne 23). This means that man can relate to anything in the world, but the world does not have the capacity to do the same. He goes on to state that even though God’s creatures are everywhere, not just in the sea, and are born giants physically in comparison to humans, their mental competence is nothing in contrast to man. Donne states that God’s creatures reach everywhere; land and sea, Earth to Heaven, but his thoughts are comprehended by all.Donne writes of two different worlds where monsters and diseases coexist and live with one another. The world in which there are monsters is a representation of the Earth. Animals are able to cure themselves, so they are able to survive and live harmoniously; each animal is able to coexist and live independently. The world of disease is one which has been created by the humans and representing the human body. They are so consumed with conquering everything and everyone; they have acquired diseases for which there is no name because there are so many within the world. The diseases have become entangled and have formed new ones. Donne is saddened by the separation of the worlds and the human’s dependency on animals and various remedies. He cannot understand how we can have so many diseases without names and remedies. Donne’s analogy of Hercules and a Physician does give a physician heroic characteristics, but also can be perceived negatively. The over exaggeration of the physician’s position makes it seem like he is fighting monsters instead of disease and as if he existed on Earth instead of within his own human body. The line, “...hee musters up al the forces of the other world, to succor this;...

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