Analysis Of Donne 's Poem ' Of His Mistress ' Essay

Analysis Of Donne 's Poem ' Of His Mistress ' Essay

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In Donne’s poems, particularly his early love poems Donne explains how love involving the body aids the soul in gaining redemption from God. This perspective may be observed in Donne’s poem, To His Mistress Going to Bed, which is centered on the events leading up to a couple’s sexual union. More specifically, the speaker says, “unlace yourself, for that harmonious chime tells me from you, that now ‘tis your bed time” (10). In other words, the speaker aims to persuade his lover to join him in bed. Donne further conveys, through the speaker, that sexual union is the union of the souls, “as souls unbodied, bodies unclothed must be, to taste whole joys” (33). Though Donne too uses erotic, sexual language to describe love’s effect on an individual’s soul, he ultimately sees human sexual relations as a necessity to gain divine knowledge—unity with God.
Donne’s view that a seeming defiance of God’s will through sexual union is a necessary part of the soul’s journey to redemption is further portrayed in his poem, The Ecstasy. In this work, Donne states the necessity to join in physical union with another “else a prince in heaven lies” (67). In other words, Donne maintains that if one never strays from God, one’s intellect will not develop. The speaker describes how the souls of the two lovers leave their bodies during sexual union—”love these mix’d souls doth mix again, and makes both one, each this and that” (34-36). In other words, through the speaker, Donne shares that sex should not be viewed in a sexual framework; instead, Donne views sex as a joint framework of sharing the soul 's knowledge, and thus journey to God. Donne further argues that the power of sexual union “interinanimates two souls”, which bring them close...


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...n the flesh and soul, both men also recognize the seemingly irrevocably element that ties the flesh and soul together—love. However, Augustine and Donne address love’s bondage of flesh and soul in different ways. In order to gain redemption, Augustine argues that the flesh must be separated from the soul, through the rejection of bodily love, while Donne maintains the flesh and soul must become united through sexual union for one to gain redemption from God. This contrast in opinions on love’s role in the soul’s road to redemption, causes the two holy men find different ways for the soul to gain redemption from God. Ultimately, Augustine and Donne show readers that there may be different ways an individual can gain redemption from God. However, since he does not reject the body or sex, Donne’s path to redemption seems to be more practical to the present time period.

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