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John Donne Explore the role of individual desire in the poetry of John Donne  

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Here’s how I interpret it:  All human beings have lustful desires that need to be quashed. All human beings are inherently sinful, and it is only through vigilance that they avoid sin. There are many temptations to sin, and we need to be constantly wary of them.

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In Donne's early years, he was something of a spirited young man: before he married, he seemed interested in wooing women and writing "conceits," poems that used unusual extended metaphors. He was not above trying to us these poems to woo a young woman into his bed with his unusual reasoning, as he writes in his poem "The Flea," which suggests to a woman that since they have both been bitten by the same flea and now share the same blood, they are as good as married. While his poetry changed after he married Ann More, his early poetry reflected the same attitudes of other writers like Andrew Marvel.

In this period of his life, his work reflected the desires of the individual more than anything else in pursuing individual...

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