Essay on Analysis of Holy Sonnet XIV

No Works Cited
Length: 1486 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Analysis of Holy Sonnet XIV

Throughout history, many people have endeavoured to convey their
interpretations, or experiences, of the relationship between God and
mankind. Many interpretations are positive - Psalm 139 of the Bible,
for example, portrays the relationship between man and God as a
personal and intimate one - yet just as many are decidedly negative.
One such interpretation is Holy Sonnet XIV, an intensely personal poem
by John Donne which explores the feelings of a man torn between
physical desire and spiritual longing. In this essay I aim to study
the poem in more depth, analysing what Donne says and how he says it.

Holy Sonnet XIV was written at a time of crisis and confusion in
Donne's life; a time when he was torn between spiritual longing for
religion and holiness, and physical passion. The poem conveys a
feeling of utmost ambivalence - at one point, Donne expresses his
feelings toward God in the line "Yet dearly I love you", yet this
profession comes just one line after his description of Jesus as
"weak" and "untrue". In fact, the poem is addressed to God Himself,
with Donne commanding Him to "batter" his heart, take control of every
aspect of his life and reform him from deep within.

The poem begins with Donne commanding God to "Batter my heart".
Instantly, Donne is telling God (described as "three person'd" an
allusion to the Trinity) to break into his life. The word "batter" is
very harsh, emphasising the brutality of the action which Donne is
commanding God to perform. This brutality is further emphasised by the
fact that Donne asks God to batter his heart, something which is seen
as very fragile and tend...

... middle of paper ...

...17th Century Persephone. The two stories do seem to run almost
parallel - his initial bond with Satan akin to her fateful eating of
the pomegranate; his imprisonment under Satan similar to her
relationship with Hades; them both becoming shadows of their former
selves (until Donne asks for God's help and until Persephone's yearly
reuniting with her parents); their not dissimilar desires and longings
(Donne's longing for spiritual fulfilment and a life with God;
Persephone's longing for life with her parents - both longings for
tranquillity and goodness). This comparison - between an ancient Greek
myth and a poem written in the 17th Century - goes to show that Holy
Sonnet XIV is a remarkable achievement: a poem that manages to be both
intensely personal yet has the ability to be read and interpreted on a
universal level.

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
Batter My Heart (Holy Sonnet XIV), by John Donne Essay - John Donne an English metaphysical poet and 16th century preacher made his name through his poems on love and his technique of creating opposing imagery through allegory and language (Ribes, 2007). Once Donne renounced his catholic faith and made a commitment to the Church of England in 1615, he wrote a series of religious poems, hymns, and sermons (Hodgson, 1999). The most well-known of his religious poetry is a series of nineteen Holy Sonnets spanning over the early 16th century, the most famous of these is Holy Sonnet XIV also known as ‘Batter My Heart’....   [tags: Poetic Analysis, Allegory]
:: 11 Works Cited
1520 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Violent Action in John Donne's Holy Sonnet XIV Essay - In "Holy Sonnet XIV" By John Donne, Donne asks God to help him. The way Donne believes God can help him is by Donne being beaten down by God only to rise up. Because Donne asks God to heat him down, he is asking God to do a violent action. The first quatrain shows Donne asking God to be violent in the intensification of verbs. The second quatrain shows Donne asking God to be violent when Donne uses the imagery of a city taken over and how he longs for God to come into the city. The third quatrain shows Donne asking God to be violent when Donne says, "break that knot again."(Donne, line 11) Donne wants God to break his union with sin....   [tags: Poetry] 667 words
(1.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Holy Sonnet XVIII by John Donne Essay - I will analyze John Donne’s Holy Sonnet XVIII. This sonnet is a variant of an Italian Sonnet with a volta occurring, unusually, at line 11 instead of the standard at line 9. The theme of this sonnet is the search for the true church of Christ among the various conflicting denominations of Christianity. Significant words, metaphysical conceit, metrics, sound patterns and tone come together to develop and clarify the theme. I will analyze the sonnet in three parts, beginning with the octave followed by the first two lines of the sestet and finally, the last four lines of the sestet....   [tags: christianity, italian sonnet, loneliness] 1131 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Donne's Holy Sonnet XIV - Batter my heart, three person'd God Essays - Donne's Holy Sonnet XIV - Batter my heart, three person'd God Batter my heart, three person'd God; for, you As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend; That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, 'and bend Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new. I, like an usurpt towne, t'another due, Labor to 'admit you, but Oh, to no end, Reason your viceroy in me, me should defend, But is captiv'd, and proves weake or untrue, Yet dearely'I love you, and would be lov'd faine, But am betroth'd unto your enemy, Divorce me, 'untie, or breake that knot againe Take me to you, imprison me, for I Except you 'enthrall me, never shall be free, Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me....   [tags: Batter my heart three person'd God]
:: 2 Works Cited
1539 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
John Donne's The Holy Sonnets Essay - John Donne's The Holy Sonnets By making many references to the Bible, John Donne's Holy Sonnets reveal his want to be accepted and forgiven by God. A fear of death without God's forgiveness of sins is conveyed in these sonnets. Donne expresses extreme anxiety and fright that Satan has taken over his soul and God won't forgive him for it or his sins. A central theme of healing and forgiveness imply that John Donne, however much he wrote about God and being holy, wasn't such a holy man all of the time and tried to make up for it in his writing....   [tags: Donne Holy Sonnets Religion Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1098 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
An Analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet 73 Essays - An Analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet 73      Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare is widely read and studied. But what is Shakespeare  trying to say. Though it seems there will not be a simple answer, for a better understanding of Shakespeare's Sonnet 73, this essay offers an explication of the sonnet from The Norton Anthology of English Literature:                 That time of year thou mayst in me behold               When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang               Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,               Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang....   [tags: Sonnet essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1257 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about An Analysis of Sonnet 64 - An Analysis of Sonnet 64 The formal structure of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 64 is largely reinforced by the logical and syntactical structure; each of the three quatrains begins with the same extended conditional "When I have seen" clause and contains the completion of the thought expressed by the clause. However, the first quatrain also contains a second conditional "When" clause (lines 3-4), and the last two lines of the third quatrain introduce the "That" result clause for all the foregoing lines....   [tags: Sonnet 64] 1350 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay: Analysis of Sonnet 83 - Analysis of Sonnet 83 I never saw that you did painting did need, And therefore to your fair no painting set. I found, or thought I found, you did exceed The barren tender of a poet's debt. And therefore have I slept in your report, That you yourself, being extant, well might show How far a modern quill doth come too short Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow. This silence for my sin sis you impute, Which shall be muost my glory, being dumb, For I impair not being beauty being mute, When others would give life and bring a tomb....   [tags: Sonnet essays] 451 words
(1.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay: Analysis of Sonnet 33 - Analysis of Sonnet 33 Full many a glorious morning I have seen Flatter the mountaintops with sovereign eye, Kissing with golden face the meadows green, Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy, Anon permit the basest clouds to ride With ugly rock on his celestial face And from the forlorn world his visage hide, Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace. Even so my sun one early morn did shine With all-triumphant splendor on my brow. But out, alack. he was but one hour mine, The region cloud hath masked him from me now Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth, Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth....   [tags: Sonnet essays] 556 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay: Analysis of Sonnet 95 - Analysis of Sonnet 95 How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose, Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name. Oh, in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose. That tongue that tells the story of thy days, Making lascivious comments on thy sport, Cannot dispraise but in a kind of praise. Naming thy name , blesses an ill report. Oh what a mansion have those vices got Which for thy habitation chose out thee, Where beauty's veil doth cover every blot And all things turns to fair that eyes can see....   [tags: Sonnet essays] 1294 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]