This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

John Donne Holy Sonnets Essay

564 words - 2 pages


John Donne

     Death is a very complicated subject that people view very differently in different situations. In John Donne’s Holy Sonnets, he writes about death in Meditations X and XVII. Both meditations use many similar rhetorical devices and appeals, but the tones of the meditations are very disparate. Donne’s different messages in Meditations X and XVII convey tones of defiance and acquiescence towards death, respectively. His apparent change of attitude towards death could be accounted for by his differing life situations while he was writing the meditations: mid-life, and near-death.
     “Meditation X”, which Donne wrote in mid-life, has a very defiant and powerful tone. Donne begins the meditation by defying normal views of death, and saying how “death, be not proud” (Donne). In deprecating death, Donne shows how he does not fear something which mortals usually fear. His reckless mockery of death is his appeal to pathos, specifically the human emotion of happiness and determination to live; “Meditation X” is a battle against an inevitable, insidious, and metaphysical force. In “Meditation XVII”, Donne begins instead by deprecating himself, conceding that he “may think [himself] so much better than [he is]” (Donne). This concession conveys a much more acquiescent and passive tone, appealing instead to the human emotions of melancholy and yearning to understand and accept death. Logos is also manipulated by Donne in different ways so that different tones are created. In “Meditation X”, Donne uses logos to show how death is not special or unique, which creates the defiant tone. In “Meditation XVII” Donne uses logos to show how death is an omnipresent, omnipotent entity. His repetition and emphasis of “bells,” which symbolize death, are reminders of...

Find Another Essay On John Donne Holy Sonnets

Reciprocal love in John Donne's Holy Sonnets

1723 words - 7 pages Reciprocal love in John Donne's Holy Sonnets Holy Sonnet XV deals with the question of reciprocal love that runs throughout Donne’s religious poetry. The Sonnet is an address of the speaker’s mind to the speaker’s soul; it is a meditation on the Trinity and man’s relationship to God. The poem’s form and the multi-layered conflation throughout expound upon the nature of the Trinity. The theme of humility in reciprocal religious love or

Batter My Heart (Holy Sonnet XIV), by John Donne

1957 words - 8 pages John Donne an English metaphysical poet and 16th century preacher made his name through his poems on love and his technique of creating opposing imagery through allegory and language (Ribes, 2007). Once Donne renounced his catholic faith and made a commitment to the Church of England in 1615, he wrote a series of religious poems, hymns, and sermons (Hodgson, 1999). The most well-known of his religious poetry is a series of nineteen Holy Sonnets

A Silent God in John Donne's "Holy Sonnets"

2183 words - 9 pages .He published a book filled with his sermons and private prayers three years later. He continued to write sacred poetry, but this poetry constantly fiddled with notions of death and despair, hence, Holy Sonnets. John Donne even wrote his own funeral sermon, "Death's Duel," shortly before he died in 1631. The overarching view on Holy Sonnets can be directly attributed to Donne's harsh experiences in life.Critics agree that John Donne has made many

Comparison of How John Donne and Andrew Marvell Present Death in Poems To His Coy Mistress and Holy Sonnet X

1774 words - 7 pages Comparison of How John Donne and Andrew Marvell Present Death in Poems To His Coy Mistress and Holy Sonnet X In the poems To His Coy Mistress and Holy Sonnet X the idea of death plays a strong part in the overall messages of the poems. Both poets use effective but very different methods in order to put forward their views and/or to make a point about society

John Donne

807 words - 3 pages . After being “appointed Reader in Divinity at Lincoln's Inn (Cambridge had conferred the degree of Doctor of Divinity on him two years earlier),” Donne’s sermons surged to immense popularity and his works gained new readers on a daily basis (Smith). John Donne penned upwards of ten lengthy sonnets of religious influence over the vast span of his life (Luminarium). Sonnet 10 is one that was written in outright defiance of death

John Donne and Shakespeare

1685 words - 7 pages A comparison of ?Holy Sonnet XIV? by John Donne and ?Sonnet 130? by William Shakespeare John Donne and William Shakespeare both wrote a variety of poems that are both similar within the structure of a Sonnet but with very different content. This essay will compare two of their sonnets ? Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare and the Holy Sonnet by John Donne.John Donne?s poem is a personal sonnet in which John Donne questions his faith in God. It

John Donne: An Influential English Poet

1257 words - 5 pages wife; the anniversary is of her death. Songs and Sonnets, his best known set of poems; “The Canonization;” and “The Extasie” are other famous love poems of Donne. For religious poetry, the series Holy Sonnets includes three of Donne’s most famous poems including “Batter my heart, three person’d God,” “Death be not proud,” and “Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward.” Poetry is not all that Donne wrote. He was also a preacher and a few of his

Historical paper

1700 words - 7 pages a summer day is a sonnet because it is a 14 lines iambic pentameter; which is the definition of a sonnet. But when we look at the last two lines of “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” we can tell that it is a Shakespearean sonnet because it rhymes. Unlike Shakespeare who used the sonnets for romantic poems to address someone he loved, John Donne used the sonnets in a different form. The sonnets were used to address God when Donne used it

Biography of John Donne

3690 words - 15 pages strong knowledge of the Anglican faith, and penned a few anti-Catholic poems, gaining him the respect of King James who encouraged him to become ordained. This position would drastically help his family’s financial status as his family had grown significantly. Done eventually accepted the position reluctantly. In 1617 Anne died giving birth to her twelfth child, who was stillborn. Stricken with grief, Donne was prompted to write the Holy Sonnets

A Balance between Their Religion and Their Poetry

2142 words - 9 pages , but there is no place at which we find him at rest, no place where he believes he has finished his journey” ( Casey 56). John Donne and George Herbert, both experience times of great questioning which is thoroughly expressed in their words. Donne struggled with inner turmoil brought on by religious persecution at a young age, but he also struggled to fight off his own inner demons to fully let God into his life. His “Holy Sonnets” expressed his

In John Donne's poetry, the craft of poetry, sex and religion are intertwined. Discuss with reference to three of Donne's poems

2290 words - 9 pages or themes in Donne's writing, we will consider three of his poems or sonnets, The Flea, Holy Sonnet VII and Holy Sonnet XIV and shall also consider the conceit that Donne regularly includes in his work.In Donne's Poem The Flea, the speaker is attempting to justify to a woman why she should acquiesce to sexual intercourse with him. The flea, which has sucked on the blood of both parties, has within it "two bloods mingled" and in this we can read

Similar Essays

John Donnes Holy Sonnets Essay

1079 words - 4 pages The Holy Sonnets By making many references to the Bible, John Donne's Holy Sonnets reveal his want to be accepted and forgiven by God. A fear of death without God's forgiveness of sins is conveyed in these sonnets. Donne expresses extreme anxiety and fright that Satan has taken over his soul and God won't forgive him for it or his sins. A central theme of healing and forgiveness imply that John Donne, however much he wrote about God and being

John Donne's The Holy Sonnets Essay

1093 words - 4 pages John Donne's The Holy Sonnets By making many references to the Bible, John Donne's Holy Sonnets reveal his want to be accepted and forgiven by God. A fear of death without God's forgiveness of sins is conveyed in these sonnets. Donne expresses extreme anxiety and fright that Satan has taken over his soul and God won't forgive him for it or his sins. A central theme of healing and forgiveness imply that John Donne, however much he wrote

Holy Sonnets By John Done Essay

4548 words - 18 pages John Donne's Holy Sonnetsby John DonneJohn Donne's Holy Sonnets: Overview1. John Donne's Holy Sonnets: John Donne Biography2. John Donne's Holy Sonnets: Setting and Character3. John Donne's Holy Sonnets: Themes4. John Donne's Holy Sonnets: Four Sonnets Analyzied Sonnet 10: Death, Be Not Proud♦ Sonnet 11: Spit in My Face♦ Sonnet 14: Batter My Heart♦ Sonnet 17: Since She Whom I Loved♦ 5. John Donne's Holy Sonnets: Critical

Holy Sonnets By John Done Essay

4548 words - 18 pages John Donne's Holy Sonnetsby John DonneJohn Donne's Holy Sonnets: Overview1. John Donne's Holy Sonnets: John Donne Biography2. John Donne's Holy Sonnets: Setting and Character3. John Donne's Holy Sonnets: Themes4. John Donne's Holy Sonnets: Four Sonnets Analyzied Sonnet 10: Death, Be Not Proud♦ Sonnet 11: Spit in My Face♦ Sonnet 14: Batter My Heart♦ Sonnet 17: Since She Whom I Loved♦ 5. John Donne's Holy Sonnets: Critical