Metaphysical Conceit in John Donne's The Sun Rising Essay
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Metaphysical Conceit in John Donne's The Sun Rising
Have you ever been in love? Have you ever felt a love so strong that nothing else seemed to matter? I hope that you have, but if you haven't, John Donne's poem, "The Sun Rising", gives a revealing glimpse into the emotional roller coaster that is true love. In the poem, Donne uses what is called a "metaphysical conceit" to emphasize the strength of the devotion between him and his lover. A metaphysical conceit is a metaphor extended to extreme, almost absurd lengths, so it makes sense for it to be used to describe intense feelings such as the devotion of two lovers. This definitely applies here, for in the mind of the narrator, he and his lover are the entire world, and the…show more content…
Upon looking at her, full of pride and bravado, he says to the sun, "If her eyes have not blinded thine. Look, and tomorrow late, tell me, Whether both th'Indias of spice and mine Be where thou lef'st them, or lie here with me." (Lines 15-18).
At the time this poem was written, colonialism and world trade were just getting into full swing, so it would have been quite a complement to be compared to the East or West Indies. Both were highly regarded and valued for their spices and gold, respectively. He keeps piling on the praise, though, extending his "we are the world" metaphor by comparing themselves to all the kings in the world. He tells the sun "all here in one bed lay" (line 20). As the poem progresses, his comparisons become more grandiose as he heaps more and more complements on the two of them. It is in the third stanza that Donne truly states the theme of the metaphor. It is also where he stretches the metaphor to its farthest lengths. He begins by stating his most blunt argument: "She is all states, and all princes, I, Nothing else is." (Lines 21-22)
Although slightly chauvinistic by today's standards, his words are strong and to the point, telling us plainly that she is the inhabited world and he, it's ruler. You might think that this relates the idea
...JohnDonne (1572-1631) is considered the most prominent of all metaphysicalpoets, especially in the seventeenth century. Donne also spent some years as a lawyer, and as a preacher, earned a reputation for delivering enchanting sermons. Donne, as a love poet, wrote from personal experience, which fact made his poetry more accessible and compelling. His independent spirit was evident in his poems, to the point of him being called rebellious. His love poems were a remarkable conglomerate of divinity and sensuality, and he explored the relationship between the two. The emotional range of Donne’s love poetry is vast and varied, as are his poems. The central theme of Donne's work was the exploration of an individual's experience of love, divinity and mortality. Although at times Donne adopted Petrarchan devices in his poems, his imagery, style and meter were completely different from Petrarchan love poetry. His imagery ranges from the vulgar to the sublime, from daily activities to old scientific theories; it may be of a deplorable bad taste or combine sheer originality with beauty and accuracy. His poetry displays an intellectual analysis of human experiences and desires, and contradictory views on love, truth and religion. Rhythm in Donne’s poems is secondary, and helps only, if at all, to underline ideas. Despite all its variety, Donne's work had certain...