The ideas and techniques of the metaphysical poets were much different from those of some of the earlier poets we have read. This type of poetry was established in the early 17th century England. In metaphysical poetry, an obvious use of sex and sexual innuendos is prevalent, as opposed to earlier times when it was rarely even mentioned. It also was a more realistic variety of poetry and was much less fairytale or fantasy. Another technique of metaphysical poetry was the constant use of intellect and metaphors. Throughout the poetic ages, use of ideas and techniques will change in order for the reader to understand the written word in front of them.
Metaphysical poetry used sex and sexual innuendos so much more than poetry from earlier times. In the middle ages when Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green were written, there was little mention of women, let alone speaking of them with reference to sex. Then Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Geoffrey Chaucer’s only use of physical contact is between Sir Gawain and the wife when, “She inclines her head quickly and kisses the knight.” (223) During the 17th century when metaphysical poetry came into play, John Donne used sex in the majority of his poems. In Donne’s poem The Flea, the male lover is telling the potential female lover that he wants to have sex with her, when
he says, “A sin, or shame, or loss of maidenhead/Yet this enjoys before it woo.” (597) As time went by, sex became less taboo to write about in poetry.
Reality as opposed to fairytale and fantasy was a major aspect of metaphysical poetry. The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus was the epitome of fantasy and fairytale in the 16th century. It is based on a man who strives to be...