Skip Nav

John Donne Essay Examples

How to cite this page

❶The poem is divided into three stanzas, each ten lines long. Using related images to picture men as engaging in a kind of courtship of the truth, the poem provides a defense of moderation and of a common ground between the competing churches of the post-Reformation world.


John Donne Poetry: British Analysis
Navigate Guide

A text is essentially a product of its context, as its prevailing values are inherently derived by the author from society. However, the emergence of post-modern theories allows for audience interpretation, thus it must be recognised that meaning in texts can be shaped and reshaped. Significantly, this may occur as connections between texts are explored.

Edson particularly portrays key values surrounding the notions of the importance of loved based relationships, and death and resurrection: The purpose of these authors distinctly correlate as each has attempted to provide fresh insight into the human condition by challenging prevalent ideals. Edison challenges secular humanists through her textual construction of dialogue and motifs to question the importance relationships play in order for a meaningful life to be attained.

The existential question of what lies after death is one that writes have pondered for years. Donne explicitly demonstrates his battle with this concept and his beliefs about theology, death and afterlife after he is converted to his Judeo Christian faith. Death was not easy to ignore in the 17th century as executions and daily mortuary carts attributed to the fear and awareness of death. They are itemised so that the link is not missed for the Western Sea, to which all the straits led, also represents death and entry into the next life: While Bearing does not openly ponder what comes after death in the play, she is tangibly struggling with the fear of death.

I just want to curl up into a little ball. Where Donne presents this same allegory in a complex manner, the book is simple.

From to Donne was able to support Ann and their growing family—which eventually included ten children—only through the generosity of friends and patrons.

His letters from this period chronicle his struggles with depression and illness. Strong religious feelings, mixed with intellectual discontent, deep cynicism, and despair are evident in the Holy Sonnets, which Donne wrote but did not publish at this time.

It was also during these years that he wrote his finest love poetry. Donne had been offered a position in the Anglican Church as early as but did not accept ordination until , when it became clear that King James I would advance him through the Church.

He became the King's chaplain; and the next year he was made divinity reader at Lincoln's Inn. Ann died in childbirth in In , a mere six years following his entry into the priesthood, Donne became Dean of St. Paul's, and his sermons became widely heard and admired. Donne produced an exceedingly diverse body of work. Both Donne's secular and religious poetry rely on naturalistic, often unexpected arguments pushed to extremes, and both rely on surprising juxtapositions of the ordinary or in some instances, the profane with the divine.

Included among Donne's secular poems are the Elegies, Songs and Sonnets, and Satyres, which subverted the conventions of Elizabethan poetry and laid the foundation for the neoclassical tradition in English verse, influencing writers such as Ben Jonson. Donne—who published only seven poems during his lifetime—was best known to his contemporaries for his Elegies, modeled after Ovid's Amores.

They impressed Donne's literary circle with their elaborate, witty conceits and sensual, even erotic, content. Today Donne's best known works are Songs and Sonnets, written mostly during his student days. The Litanie, along with the seven sonnets that comprise La Corona, examine morality, mortality and questions of faith.

In The Anniversaries and , which he wrote in memory of Elizabeth Drury, Donne explores the relationship of the individual to the world and the progress of the soul after death. The history of Donne's reputation is one of the most remarkable of any major writer in English; no other poet currently so admired has fallen from favor for so long and been so condemned as inept and crude.

In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Donne's unpublished poetry was highly prized within his small literary circle. The first collection of Donne's poetry, titled simply Poems, was published two years after his death and prefaced with elegies by Izaak Walton, Thomas Carew, and other contemporaries who admired his work.

However, not all contemporaries were enamored of Donne. Indeed, Donne was often accused of overdoing his wit. Donne became something of a cult figure in the s and s when modernist poets Eliot and Yeats, among others, discovered in his poetry the fusion of intellect and passion that they aspired to in their own work.

Eliot argued that Donne and the Metaphysical poets had written complex, emotionally charged celebrations of the joys, sorrows, and dilemmas of their own age. While modern criticism of Donne's poetry has not been universally favorable, since the first half of the twentieth century Donne has maintained a place of high regard in the canon of English literature.

Donne is acknowledged as an accomplished and versatile poet who has profoundly influenced modern poetry. An Anatomie of the World. Of the Progress of the Soule. Wherein, By Occasion Of the Religious death of Mistris Elizabeth Drury, the incommodities of the Soule in this life, and her exaltation in the next, are Contemplated Aers, David, and Gunther Kress.

Versions of Self in Donne's Verse Epistles. Studies in the Age of Donne 14 Despite his involvement with such figures as Essex and Egerton, and his membership of two parliaments, Donne remains politically enigmatic. For those many readers who still see his poetry as characterized by the very fact that it transcends its time and its roots in history this has never been a problem. Until recently, however, almost all those who have refused to cut Donne off from his times and his H Howard-Hill and Philip Rollinson, pp.

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Free John Donne papers, essays, and research papers.

Privacy FAQs

Critical Essays and Journal Articles on the Works of John Donne.

About Our Ads

John Donne: Poems essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of John Donne. Donne was born in to a prosperous London family. His mother came from one of England's most distinguished Catholic families. Donne was the grandson of the dramatist John Heywood, the nephew.

Cookie Info

The traditional dichotomy between Jack Donne and Dr. Donne, despite John Donne’s own authority for it, is essentially false. In the seventeenth century context, the work of Donne constitutes a. Oct 09,  · Find essays and research papers on John Donne at We've helped millions of students since Join the world's largest study community.