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Metaphyscially Speaking: Seeking Peace Essay

1060 words - 5 pages

Metaphysically Speaking: Seeking Peace
In the 17th century the metaphysical poems Peace and The Sun Rising, written by George Herbert and John Donne respectively, both revolve around an elaborate personification in order to detail a journey in which one seeks a physical manifestation of the idea of peace and the other without ever leaving his bedroom seeks to rid him and his lover of the pestering Sun to also find peace. The two's journeys for peace parallel one another. The authors manage through their similar implementation of allusion, apostrophe and the aforementioned personification to develop analogous poems with contrasting topics of religion and a very physical love.
Personification within the poems creates a greater physical connection and gives a sense of actual presence. In Herbert's Peace he inquires "Sweet Peace" where it could possibly "dwell" as he "humbly" desires the answer. Every place he visits he asks if Peace is there or is already thoroughly convinced that he must be able to find it there but is met with unfortunate luck. Not until the end does he realize that peace was always with him as for an honest man in pursuit of it he shall not be denied. The honest man in him can be seen with the humbleness in which he seeks peace. He becomes one with peace in a way. The constant availableness connects flawlessly with the religious theme flowing throughout as the church at his time and in any time really would not deny a man of pure desire seeking to find God. Donne also utilizes personification albeit in a different way. The journey in his poem seeks to rid himself of an "old fool", the "unruly Sun" who for some reason shines "through curtains" to "call on" the lovers. To him his love is the most important thing in the world so much so that he thinks even kings should be concerned with it. Considering the bedroom as his entire world the inner peace he desires is within that room. Elimination of all outside disruptions leaves him and his lover to themselves. Contrasting Peace, Donne has a very selfish desires to be with his lover as he places them above all. The heliocentric model was a huge debate in the early 17th century and in the end he plays with this and refers to his room becoming the new Sun: "This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere". Here a uniting with the personified subject of the poem is also seen but creating another stark contrast with the other poem as the unification comes from him implying the world revolves around him.
In conjunction with the personification both authors employ apostrophe in order to bring out the intense emotions within. The "secret cave" held no one except the speaker so when he asks if "Peace were there" he heard no reply but the "hollow winde" seemingly saying no and to search elsewhere. One does not normally cry out the questions they have with no one around knowing they will not hear an answer. Yet in the poem he does and this elicits the strong desire the...

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