Monday, January 6, 2020

The Writings of John Donne - 1184 Words

The 17th century opened with a generation of great social change which culminated in the eventual execution of King Charles I in 1649. This created an atmosphere of conflict that permeates much of the literature of the period. The writings of John Donne are rife with this conflict, reflecting in their content a view of love and women radically and cynically altered from that which preceding generations of poets had handed down. nbsp; John Donnes view of love deviated greatly from the Medieval philosophy of courtly love, which had been expressed in poetry handed down from the sonnets of such poetic giants as Sidney and Petrarch. The general verse until then had focused greatly on the unrivalled importance of love in the context†¦show more content†¦This demystification continues in Donnes Song, a poem explaining how there is not anywhere in existence a beautiful woman who will remain faithful. And swear/No where/Lives a woman true, and fair. (l. 16-18) This inconsistent nature attributed to females is hardly complimentary, but it is certainly a vast change from the cold indifference of Petrarchs idyllic mistress. nbsp; In still another twist on poetic description of social norms, The Undertaking presents as a brave (to the point of heroic) deed his relationship with a woman based on the virtue in her heart- and then the hiding of that relationship to avoid scorn. He presents the woman very nearly as an equal, which is a strange concept when contrasted with more of Donnes verse. nbsp; If, as I have, you also do Virtue attired in woman see, And dare love that, and say so too, And forget the He and She; (ll. 17-20) nbsp; In the rest of the poem, Donne states that this exercise (relating with a woman based on her virtue) is useless, as it is almost impossible to find such a woman with virtuous heart (ll. 5-12), thus fulfilling his apparent anti-feminist beliefs. Still, the peculiarities of this poem should be viewed for all they are worth, as they are particularly reflective of the change in the view of women. nbsp; In the phrase forget the He and She, Donne expresses a sort ofShow MoreRelatedThe Treatment Of Outweighing By John Donne And Shakespeare On The Writing Of The Period2782 Words   |  12 Pagesto thighs? (Donne, ‘Sappho to Philaenis’) Write an essay on the treatment of homoeroticism in the writing of the period. The treatment of homoeroticism is explored through the influential writings of both John Donne and Shakespeare in the Renaissance Era. Similarly, the voice of both present a scornful dismissal of the opposite sex in order to defy the typical conventions of heterosexuality. 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