A Valediction Forbidding Mourning by John Donne
Traits of the Time Period
• Protestant Reformation: This resulted in an anti-catholic attitude. Donne actually converted Anglicanism
• Age of Discovery: Many people were exploring new lands and learning much about other cultures. This might explain his reference to compasses
• Renaissance: Movements like this focused on love, humanism, glorified man. Much education and art occurring. Idea of circle being perfect was enforced, probably where he got the idea.
• "Crucial to a more complex reading of the poem is a recognition that the speaker is a persona, and hence a partial but not total projection of the author" (Mousley, 46).
• Some believe that the person is John Donne himself and his lover is his wife, Anne More. It is also believed that he wrote this poem for her, while she was pregnant, just as he was departing to Europe. (Bracket)
• John Donne is considered the greatest metaphysical poet and this poem is considered one of the greatest metaphysical poems
• " A valediction is the lover's farewell or leave-taking, in which he demonstrates his sensitivity to the woman he leaves behind;" (Bloom) He will try to convince his lover not to be sad or lose hope. He tries to offer consolation through constructing an argument that true love can never be separated. " The poem that follows the title is the evidence that the speaker hopes he will convince his beloved of this everlasting love, guaranteeing their inseparability."(Bloom)
• Sets stage for an argument as to why there should be no mourning, arguments being a major aspect of metaphysical poems
• "As" is used as a simile in order to make an analogy, comparing the lovers' relationship and the death of the righteous
• Lines 1-2: He alludes to resurrection of body and soul, affirming wholeness even in death. Even after separation, the lovers' love will be whole
• Lines: 3-4: The...