The Christian Representation of God in Poetry

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The voice of passion and intelligent mystery is a natural mixture used when projecting an image of God by both Milton in When I consider how my light is spent and Donne in Holy Sonnet XIV. Religion plays a huge part in the sonnets and how they make the reader perceive God. The two authors’ religious practices are so important that their troubles all stem from what they believe is an inability to serve. This is why even when the writers’ immediate demands are not met they still continue to love God. The Christian image of God can be described as eminent and this may be a major reason as to why both Milton and Donne’s representations of God are so adorned. Even though God doesn’t give either author what they ask for, Donne and Milton’s dedication to serving and loving the Lord present a representation of something can only be desirable.

Even though both authors are given difficulties they do not complain about the pain they feel but rather that this challenge may not let them folly worship God. The poem When I consider how my light is spent is ultimately about John Milton’s contemplation how daily life will be like after he goes completely blind. The speaker in the sonnet has a conversation with God about what he should do about his impending loss of sight. Milton writes that the speaker asks “Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?” (Milton, line 13). This quote shows the reader his concern for pleasing God. Milton here is not writing about his worry for how blindness will affect his normal actions but rather his religious ones. To the speaker God’s opinion is very important. This is a sign of endearment which reminds the reader that of the speaker’s love for God. Similarly in John Donne’s poem Holy Sonnet XIV fear of inadequacy c...

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...s. While these sonnets may not be overly romantic they do follow a

reverent and loving background. It is obvious that both Milton and Donne projected a portrait of a dignified God who they greatly love and respect.

By not giving either speaker what they ask for God forces them to truly think about why they are asking for such things. Both Milton and Donne realize that what they really are asking for is God’s love. When they realize that God will still love them despite their faults their anger and sadness disappears. It is very clear that even though God is all powerful he gives man their freedom in the hopes that they will return to him on their own. This makes God’s representation even greater, for not only is he powerful he is also humble. The combination of these two characteristic traits that God possesses, in Donne and Milton’s sonnets, is truly desirable.
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