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Find examples of Donne’s "masculine persuasive force" in his Elegy 19, "To His...

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darkshadow122 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted October 31, 2012 at 2:27 PM via web

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Find examples of Donne’s "masculine persuasive force" in his Elegy 19, "To His Mistress Going to Bed."

 

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 31, 2012 at 4:43 PM (Answer #1)

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In "To His Mistress Going to Bed," the speaker is asking his lover to remove her clothes so that they can make love. His propositions are direct but usually followed by praise. "Your gown, going off, such beauteous state reveals, / as when from flowry meads th' hill's shadow steals."

In lines 3-4, the speaker describes himself as a soldier. "The foe oft-times having the foe in sight, / Is tired with standing though he never fight." The word "standing" refers to his readiness to perform. The masculine comparison is between the poised stance of the ready soldier and the poised stance of the speaker's sexual arousal.

Another example of the "masculine persuasive force" is shown in lines 25-30 where the speaker suggests that he is a conqueror/discoverer and his lover is a yet to be discovered land.

License my roving hands, and let them go

Before, behind, between, above, below.

O my America! my new-found-land,

My kingdom, safeliest when with one man manned,

My mine of precious stones, my empery,

How blest am I in this discovering thee!

This "masculine persuasive force" is interesting because it is an odd combination of force, seduction, and love.

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