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Discuss the idea of love as is expressed in Shakespeare and John Donne - Essay Example

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Discussion on the Idea of Love as Expressed in the Works of William Shakespeare and John Donne Table of Contents The Idea of Love as It Is Discussed in Shakespeare and Donne 3 Works Cited 8 The Idea of Love as It Is Discussed in Shakespeare and Donne The literature on the love poetry of John Donne portrays his love poetry as reflecting the very sincere and thoughtful sensibilities of the poet with regard to the subject, together with religion and his attitudes and views towards women…
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Discuss the idea of love as is expressed in Shakespeare and John Donne

Download file to see previous pages... Love, for John Donne, therefore, was discussed in terms of this amalgam having two parts, one divine and spiritual, and the other sensual and full of references to physicality. This view of love is especially true with regard to the love relationship between John Donne and the woman with whom he devoted his time and threw away everything, in a manner of speaking, Anne Donne, mother to his offspring and the woman that she married. On the other hand, in the early years of his manhood, his attitude towards love was one of nonchalance, and of heaping mockery at the women that he successfully conquered (Kaveney). That earlier Donne viewed women generally with a kind of contempt and a low regard for their morality and for spiritual qualities such as faithfulness. In the poem “Song”, for instance, a paraphrasing of the last two stanzas basically says that women cannot be trusted to be faithful, even if she be very beautiful, and that the faithful woman is rarer than the most fantastic things one can encounter roaming the face of the earth. Love, in the early vision of Donne, is implied as something just as rare in the spiritual sense, judging from the lack of spirituality in women incapable of loftier capacities such as faithfulness (Kline): When you return you will tell me of all the wondrous things you’ve seen, but you will swear that a woman who is beautiful and faithful is not among them. If you do, by some miracle, find one then let me know, because a pilgrimage to see such a paragon would be a sweet journey. But, on second thoughts, don’t tell me, even if she were only next door, because though she might be faithful when you met her, and still be so while you write to me to tell me, she’ll be faithless with two or three other men before I manage to arrive (Kline). The above mocking view of women, and the distrust in women and the cynical view of love in the early poems of Donne the young man, are in sharp contrast to the almost spiritual exaltation reflected in his poetry on his love for Anne More Donne. In the poem 'A Valediction of Weeping', for instance, the mocking, triumphant young man immune from the sorrows of true love, is completely gone, replaced by a man in earnest expressing something heartfelt and powerful, to the point of tears. This latter view of love as portrayed in this poem of Donne is emotional, tugs at the core of the person, and induces a grown man to tears reflecting on his separation with his beloved (Kline (b)): While I remain here, let me pour out my tears in front of you. For your face coins my tears and they bear your stamp, and because of the way they are minted like this they acquire value, since they are born from you. They are the fruit of much grief (at imminent separation) and emblems of more (their actual parting, also a play on Ann More’s name), and when a tear falls the reflection of you that it carried falls also, so that you and I are reduced to nothing when separated by an ocean of tears (as we will be if separated by the real ocean). (Kline (b)). The third view of love, meanwhile, shifts the intensity of focus away from the passions and the heartfelt emotions, and away from the coolness and the cynicism of his youth, to an intense intellectualism, as it is reflected in some of his other poems. Such intense ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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