Love in John Donne's A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning and Andrew Marvell's To His Coy Mistress

Love in John Donne's A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning and Andrew Marvell's To His Coy Mistress

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Love in John Donne's A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning and Andrew Marvell's To His Coy Mistress


John Donne's "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" and Andrew Marvell's To His Coy Mistress" both talk about love but has different views about it, one talks about physical love and the other talks about spiritual love. John Donne's "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" compared love to a circle while Andrew Marvel's "To His Coy Mistress" compared love to a straight line. Both poems are act of persuasions. "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" is persuading the reader that true love is eternal while "To His Coy Mistress" the speaker is persuading the mistress to make passionate sex with him. Therefore, with all of these similarities and differences, it's commendable to compare the two works of literature.

"A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" has a subtle theme of religion in itself particularly, Christianity in relation to life after death. The main theme of the poem is true love will continue on, even after death. Lines one through two illustrate the notion of afterlife. "As virtuous men pass mildly away, And whisper to their souls to go..." Essentially, it implies that we have souls, and souls are the immortal part of men (human beings). John Donne's notion that we have souls and there's life after death are presumably based on his Christian beliefs. Donne was born in England and raised by a prosperous Roman Catholic family. At the age of 42, Donne accepted ordination in the Angelican Church. He, then, became and earned a reputation as one of the greatest preachers (Abcarian and Klotz 1121). Donne was 60 years of age when he wrote the poem; presumably, he was still a preacher at the time. Therefore, his poem can be suggested as...


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...ourning." Although the main central theme of the poems were directly opposite of each other, we can relate that physical love and spiritual love has a connection to each other. Physical love can turn to spiritual love or perhaps spiritual love can turn to physical love.  At one point or another, we have experienced both physical and spiritual love. On the surface, we can say that spiritual love is a cut above physical love. However, it's hypocritical to say that we do not come into contact with emotions such as desire or lust. Therefore, physical love is at the same level as spiritual love. It is merely difficult to admit that we do experience lust because it is not something to be proud about. Social convention dictates that we should not feel lust. Moreover, lust is one of the seven sins. However, lust is a valid emotion that every one experience once in a while.

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