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Donne and Dryden

These tasks are examined:


1.Choose a sonnet and discuss the theme, language usage, and
metaphorical references within
2.Choose a poem and discuss the impact of word choice throughout
it and why effective word choice was essential for this poem's

Solution Preview

As you explore theme, language usage, and metaphorical references within a sonnet, I like Donne's Holy Sonnets, in particular, I prefer the famous one, "Death Be Not Proud, also called "Divine Meditation 10." Please note how it deals with death and dying as its central theme. Since the poem is autobiographical in nature, it gains even more power. Research suggests that it was "written when Donne himself was sick with smallpox (http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/deathbenot/section1.html). This piece, like so many others by Donne, seems to resonate with the theme of death.

In terms of theme, please also note that this poem presents a contradictory view of death. The opening lines, "Death be not proud, though some have called thee/Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so," demonstrate Donne's own uncertainty on the issue" (http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/oliver.htm). You might add that he also seems to present an impression that humans can triumph over death that death lacks power compared to God's might.

In addition to the death theme, you might also notice how the poem's theme also shifts. For example, it digresses from the central idea of death "to Donne himself. Although it is not an extreme example, for he focuses on death and himself, it demonstrates his conviction that a poem is worth writing if it regards him in some way. "Nor yet canst thou kill me/From rest and sleep" serves to reinforce the idea of death as a mere transitory stage between the earthly and the after-lives" (http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/oliver.htm). It seems like death is not an end in Donne's view; instead, it is a physical and spiritual rest for someone.

Similarly, Donne's religious notions also permeate the theme of death. He suggests that not only will death "rejuvenate the body, but also the spirit, readying it for ...

Solution Summary

Donne and Dryden are explored.