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Actually this poem by John Donne is based on a personal prejudice that woman is unfaithful, everyone of them. It is presented as a casual conversation too, so more than thematically appreciating, it would be better to focus on its structure for it is a very good exmple for metaphysical poetry.
1. Intellectually rigorous, scholastic, dialectical, subtle
2. Argumentative – using logic, syllogisms or paradox in persuasion.
Donne has the tenacity of a sharp legal mind. Like a dogged prosecutor (sometimes defendant), he mounts a zealous case for or against his theses.
3. Concentrated complex and difficult thought
4. Dramatic, with abrupt aggressive opening but modulating tones.
5. Style – concise, succinct, epigrammatic
6. Use of conceits; commonplace medieval topics with lots of comparisons to unusual, unexpected things or images called conceits or extended metaphors.
Deals with dichotomies, dualities, paradoxes, antithesis in a dialectic manner
· Body and soul (corporal and spiritual)
· Time and eternity (finite and infinite)
· Real (concrete) and the ideal (abstract)
· Carnal (profane) and divine (sacred) love
· Sin and redemption
· Emotion (passion) and Reason (logic)
Donne resolves everything into a unity;
a) the oneness of lovers,
b) the self-sufficiency of lovers,
c) the image of the circle – cycles – perfection
Since these qualities are embeded in this poem, ot can be critically appreciated better as a metaphysical poem.
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