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Hudson Myers
Hudson Myers

The Apparition John Donne Literary Devices

Kibin. (2023). An analysis of the differences between two poems by john donne: the apparition and holy sonnet v. -examples/an-analysis-of-the-differences-between-two-poems-by-john-donne-the-apparition-and-holy-sonnet-v-o9u8Ocqb

the apparition john donne literary devices

"An Analysis of the Differences between Two Poems by John Donne: The Apparition and Holy Sonnet V." Kibin, 2023,

1. "An Analysis of the Differences between Two Poems by John Donne: The Apparition and Holy Sonnet V." Kibin, 2023. -examples/an-analysis-of-the-differences-between-two-poems-by-john-donne-the-apparition-and-holy-sonnet-v-o9u8Ocqb.

"An Analysis of the Differences between Two Poems by John Donne: The Apparition and Holy Sonnet V." Kibin, 2023. -examples/an-analysis-of-the-differences-between-two-poems-by-john-donne-the-apparition-and-holy-sonnet-v-o9u8Ocqb.

You'll want to be familiar with a literary terms so that any questions that ask about them will make sense to you. Again, you'll probably learn most of these in class, but it doesn't hurt to brush up on them. Check out our guide to the 31 literary devices you need to know, complete with definitions and examples.

If we want to categorize Donne's poetry into some groups, two groups surely will constitute his argumentative and seductive poems. In the first one, the speaker tries to persuade someone to take a specific action or to adopt a certain point of view or at least has an appreciation for the speaker's argumentative skill. The speakers in the argumentative poems have different aims: one tries to stop people from criticizing his love, while another tries to get the sun to stop shining into his room. The convincing power of an argumentative poem is determined by whether or not the reader side with the speaker at the end of the poem rather than the speaker's opponent. The listeners can be referred to as witnesses than a participant in this debate and in this position they can evaluate the persuasiveness of the poem by determining the effect of the poem on them. In the other group which is seductive poems, the speaker shares a common purpose in making his arguments: to get a woman to sleep with him. The approach that Donne is using here to persuade his loves is to construct logical arguments. So the seductive poems can also be considered as pieces of persuasion because the speaker's success is based on the strength of the argument.Analyzing Donne's argumentative and seductive poems makes it clear that there are some repeated techniques at work in these poems. These techniques help the speakers create powerful arguments that persuade the readers.One technique that is found in almost all of Donne's persuasive poems is that his speakers systematically prove each claim. This is clearly achieved by his great ability in using wit and reason even in his most sensuous poems that is called the association sensibility. Even his most passionate poems work by reason and logic. This logic can be seen when Donne's speakers give examples and evidence to support their claims.The other persuasive technique found in many of Donne's poems is using vivid metaphors and similes to ground the arguments in a pleasing and convincing way. Donne's speakers use these poetic devices not for decoration but to help explain abstract concepts of love. This practical use of literary devices can be seen clearly in the fact that many of Donne's metaphors come from ordinary objects that are familiar. Many of Donne's images come from business or are objects that can be found in urban settings. This familiarity makes the metaphors easy to understand, which is useful in persuading a reader.And the last repeated technique used in most of Donne's argumentative and seductive poems is that his speakers use a bold and direct manner of expression. In this delivery technique, Donne includes lines that contain especially loaded words delivered in a straightforward manner which in turn gives it a tremendous force. This force helps persuade the readers by adding emotional power to the logic of the argument.This paper attempts to show the application of aforementioned techniques, through a detailed analysis, in three of Donne's most famous persuasive poems: 'The Apparition', 'Sun Rising', and 'The Flea'.The ApparitionIn 'The Apparition', Donne's speaker employs very unconventional methods to seduce a woman. Instead of using flattery or romantic lines, the speaker uses frightening words in order to get the woman to be with him. This method is so unconventional that many readers do not read 'The Apparition' as a seductive poem.While the majority of readers do not consider 'The Apparition' to be a seductive poem, there is textual evidence to the contrary. Early in the poem, the speaker alludes to past attempts to seduce the woman when he says, "And that thou thinkst thee free/From all solicitation from mee" (1-2). The word solicitation indicates that the speaker has been romantically interested in the woman. This interest introduces the idea that the speaker's ultimate goal may be to seduce the woman.The idea that the speaker's aim is seduction is confirmed at the poem's conclusion when the speaker says, "I had rather thou shouldst painfully repent,/Than by my threatnings rest still innocent" (16-17). The crime the woman needs to repent for is revealed earlier in the poem when the speaker says the woman is killing him by refusing his advances. The woman can be innocent if she accepts the speaker's solicitations and thus ceases to kill him. This conclusion shows that the speaker's aim all along has been for the woman to sleep with him. This intent characterizes 'The Apparition' as a seductive poem. The technique the speaker uses to seduce the woman is to frighten her into being with him. The speaker hopes that if he scares the woman enough, she will choose to be with him to avoid facing the grim future that awaits her if she rejects him.While this approach is unconventional, the speaker has tried seducing the woman through conventional approaches that have failed. Frightening the woman is a way for the speaker to try a new technique since his old techniques are not working. The first fear technique employed by the speaker is a strong line at the beginning of the poem. The speaker opens by saying, "When by thy scorne, O murdresse, I am dead" (1). This line is strongly worded in that it uses words loaded with negative connotations like murdresse and dead. By accusing the woman of murder at the beginning, the speaker is establishing an aggressive tone that carries an emotional force throughout the rest of the poem. This emotional force puts the woman in a vulnerable position, and sets her up to be persuaded.The predominant fear strategy employed by the speaker is to threaten the woman. The threat takes the form of a ghost that will haunt her as the speaker reveals when saying, "Then shall my ghost come to thy bed" (4). This threat is consistent with the claim that the woman is killing the speaker since ghosts are thought to avenge undeserved deaths. Being haunted by a ghost is a frightening prospect that the woman would want to avoid. If the ghost's presence is not intimidating enough, the speaker claims that the ghost will issue a frightening proclamation. The speaker says, "What I will say, I will not tell thee now,/Lest that preserve thee'" (14-15). The I the speaker refers to is his ghost. There are many painful utterances the ghost can make, such as cursing the woman or damning her, but the speaker does not reveal what will be said.Not revealing what the ghost will say is another way in which the speaker further frightens the woman. The final way in which the speaker frightens the woman into being with him is by negatively depicting the alternative. The speaker gives a grim portrait of the man she will be with if she does not accept him when he says: "And he, whose thou art then, being tyr'd before, Will, if you stirre, or pinch to wake him, thinke Thou call'st for more, And in false sleepe will from thee shrinke, And then poore Aspen wretch, neglected thou Bath'd in a cold quicksilver sweat wilt lye" (7-12). The woman's future lover is presented as pathetic. He does not have much ability in bed since he pretends to be sleeping to avoid having sex. He also is not protective since he does not come to the woman's aid when she is confronted by the ghost. With this description, the speaker tries to convince the woman into thinking that she would be better off had she accepted him. This is a type of threat since the speaker presents a scene of future misery if she does not accept him. By threatening, the speaker tries to get the woman to be with him out of fear of the alternatives.Through using strongly worded lines, threatening the woman, and negatively depicting the competition, Donne's speaker makes the unusual attempt at seducing the woman through fear. It is safe to say that the speaker is very effective in frightening the woman, but it is unknown whether this approach will cause the lady to accept him. This approach certainly has the advantage of novelty, and since standard seduction techniques were not working on the woman, maybe a novel approach will.The Sun Rising'The Sunne Rising' is one of Donne's most popular poems. It is unique among Donne's argumentative poems in that the speaker addresses an inanimate object, the Sun. In the poem, the speaker is lying in bed with his lover and is upset that sunlight is shining through the window. The speaker makes an argument to try to get the Sun to leave so he and his lover can stay in bed.The poem is not truly argumentative, however, because in the middle of the poem the speaker turns from arguing with the Sun to praising the woman he is with. Until the focus shifts, the persuasive technique found in the poem is a personal attack through insulting the Sun, challenging its power, and giving it commands. These techniques give force to the speaker's delivery and lower the audience's impression of the Sun. The persuasive force of the poem comes from the angry tone the speaker uses when talking to the Sun. From the start of the poem, the speaker establishes his angry tone by insulting the Sun. Busie old foole, unruly Sunne, Why dost thou thus, Through windowes, and through curtaines call on us? Must to thy motions lovers seasons run (1-4). In a formal argument, it would be unmannerly to insult an opponent. By insulting the Sun, the speaker shows that he is so overcome with anger that he is unable to restrain himself. This emotion carries over through the rest of the poem and gives the speaker's words additional force.Additionally, insults diminish the power and the importance of the Sun by generating the idea that the Sunne does not need to be respected. In arguments, if one person, or the Sun, is well respected, they have credibility with the audience. By insulting the Sun, the speaker eliminates this advantage. The speaker further diminishes the importance of the Sun by questioning the power it possesses. At one point, the speaker challenges the Sun's brightness by saying: Thy beames, so reverend, and strong Why shouldst thou thinke? I could eclipse and cloud them with a winke, But that I would not lose her sight so long (11-14). The speaker is not impressed by the Sun's brightness since he can close his eyes if he chooses. This attack severely challenges the Sun's power since brightness is the most important attribute of the Sun. If the Sun's brightness is not respected, then there is no reason to respect the Sun.Another way the speaker diminishes the importance of the Sunne is by giving it orders. The speaker suggests that the Sun take alternative actions: "Sawcy pedantique wretch, goe chide Late schoole boyes and sowre prentices, Goe tell Court-huntsmen, that the King will ride, Call countrey ants to harvest offices" (5-8). These suggestions take the form of direct commands. By giving orders to the Sun, the speaker asserts that he has the power. The unconcerned content of the orders reinforces the speaker's power by portraying the Sun as merely a nuisance the speaker wants to be rid of. By diminishing the Sun and establishing that he is the one with power, the speaker gains credibility with the audience. 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