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Love's Deity
 

Love's Deity

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Poem Analysis Project

Poem Analysis Project

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    Love's Deity Love's Deity Presentation Transcript

    • Love’s Deity John Donne By: Olivia Migliarino
    • Stanza 1
      • I long to talk with some old lover’s ghost
      • Who died before the god of love was born.
      • I cannot think that he who then loved most
      • Sunk so low as to love one which did scorn.
      • But since this god produced a destiny,
      • And that vice-nature, custom, lets it be,
      • I must love her that loves not me.
    • Summary
      • The speaker reflects on what it would be like to be born before the god of love.
      • He is convinced that if this were the case, he would not be forced to love someone who doesn’t reciprocate those feelings.
    • Stanza 2
      • Sure, they which made him god meant not so much,
      • Nor he in his young godhead practiced it.
      • But when an even flame two hearts did touch,
      • His voice was indulgently to fit
      • Actives to passives. Correspondency
      • Only his subject was. It cannot be
      • Love till I love her that loves me.
    • Summary
      • The speaker suggests those who made Eros a god didn’t expect so much chaos to result, nor did Eros himself.
      • He insists that Eros matches people who are not right for each other and doesn’t take into account the feelings of those involved.
        • “ Actives to passives” (12)
    • Stanza 3
      • But every modern god will now extend
      • His vast prerogative as far as Jove.
      • To rage, to lust, to write to, to commend,
      • All is the purlieu of the god of love.
      • Oh, were we wakened by this tyranny
      • To ungod this child again, it could not be
      • I should love her who loves not me.
    • Summary
      • The speaker explains that “to rage, to lust, to write to, and to commend” are all a result of Eros’ power.
      • He calls Eros a tyrant and insists that if this god did not exist, he would not be in this dilemma.
    • Stanza 4
      • Rebel and atheist too, why murmur I
      • As though I felt the worst that Love could do?
      • Love might make me leave loving, or might try
      • A deeper plague, to make her love me too,
      • Which, since she loves before, I am loath to see.
      • Falsehood is worse than hate, and that must be
      • If she whom I love should love me.
    • Summary
      • The speaker calls himself a rebel and atheist, however, he recognizes that it could be worse… the woman he loves could be forced to love him back.
      • He goes on to suggest the “falsehood is worse than hate” and if she were to love him, their love would not be true or real.
    • Allusion
      • Donne alludes to Eros, the god of love, as well as other unnamed gods.
        • “ Who died before the god of love was born” (2)
        • “ Sure, they which made him god meant not so much” (8)
    • Rhyme Scheme
      • Stanza 1: ABABCCC
      • Stanza 2: DEDECCC
      • Stanza 3: FGFGCCC
      • Stanza 4: HIHICCCC
    • Repetition
      • Donne ends each stanza with a similar rhyme scheme and theme, adding a slight variation to each.
        • Ends each stanza with a “CCC” pattern.
        • This highlights the speaker’s reflective attitude, as he mentally jumps from one scenario to the next.
        • Emphasizes the dramatic impact that Eros can have amongst humans.
    • Diction
      • Donne includes harsh diction to exemplify the heartbreak and ruin that can result from the immaturity and carelessness of a young god.
        • “ Sunk, scorn, vice-nature, rage, tyranny, plague, loath…” (4-26)
    • Mood
      • Reflective
        • “ I long to talk with some old lover’s ghost” (1)
      • Frustrated
        • “ Sunk so low as to love one which did scorn” (4)
      • Angry
        • “ And that vice-nature, custom, lets it be” (6)
    • Contrasts
      • “ Actives to passives” (12)
        • This antonymic pair highlights the incompatibility of the people he matches.
      • “ Might try a deeper plague, to make her love me too” (24-25)
        • This line is unexpected because the previous stanzas involve the speaker’s frustration that she doesn’t love him back.
        • This introduces the speaker’s thoughts on “falsehood” and emphasizes that no good can come from Eros’ intervention.
    • Alternate Names
      • Refers to Eros as a “child” (20)
        • The fact that the speaker calls Eros a “child” shows his opinion of the god. He views Eros as immature and unconcerned with any consequences of his actions.
      • Refers to himself as “rebel and atheist” (22)
        • This can be seen as another contradiction because a rebel is passionate about his beliefs, while an atheist has no beliefs. The speaker tries to convince himself that he doesn’t believe, however, the fact that he tries to rebel against this god proves that he does believe in Eros.
    • What is the poem’s purpose?
      • The poem’s purpose is to highlight the risk of heartbreak that sometimes accompanies love.
      • It spans the realm of emotions which love involves and demonstrates that love may sometimes be out of our control.
      • It warns that what we think we want, may not always be what is best for us.
    • How fully does the poem accomplish this purpose?
      • The poem is able to accomplish its purpose through various literary devices, such as diction, mood, and contrasts.
      • The repetition within the rhyme scheme also proved to be vital in emphasizing one of the poem’s major themes, that love and its effects are often out of our control.
    • How important is this purpose?
      • Living in a culture that grants us instant gratification and allows to indulge in whatever we please, I believe the purpose of this poem is important because it provides the message that we don’t always know what we want or what is best.
      • Moreover, the entire world is made up of a network of relationships, most of which involve some type of love, and this poem helps to encompass the complexity of love.