First of all, the author demonstrates how every man is a slave through the use of specific form in the poem. For instance, Donne utilizes the Petrarchan sonnet format consisting of fourteen lines with two quatrains and one sestet. Throughout the history of the sonnet, they have been used to express a romantic love for another human, but this poem is about a love and desire for God. The author broke the mold of his day and most likely surprised his readers by writing a sonnet about God and wanting to be set free from evil. As well as this, the poem is written in specific meter know as iambic pentameter, containing five metrical feet, each having one unstressed syllable and one stressed syllable. For example, the poet writes, “That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend…” (3). Through the iambic pentameter, the author establishes rhythm that helps his words flow, as he continues to illustrate his bondage. Similarly, Donne employs his own personal tw...
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...unusual imagery to express the idea that he is a slave like every man.
Clearly, the poet’s inner conflict between wanting to do what is right and not being able to is addressed in this poem, and it represents how each man is a slave to something whether he wants to admit it or not. This idea is the main theme and is accomplished through the poem’s form, specifically the sonnet, iambic pentameter, and rhyme scheme. In addition to form, the central idea is attained through diction and vivid imagery. One can learn from “Holy Sonnet 14” that there will be distractions and things that sidetrack him from what he really wants in life, and he must be willing for extreme measures to be taken to achieve his goal. Just as the speaker desired God to deliver him, people need to assess what they want in life and decide whether they are going to be a slave to sin or a slave to God.
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