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Sonnet-Batter my Heart: John Donne

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Sonnet-Batter my Heart: John Donne

  1. 1. SONNET: BATTER MY HEART JOHN DONNE (1572-1631) L.O: To analyse the content and content of the poem. To use appropriate terminology to write about the poem.
  2. 2. METAPHYSICAL POETS  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aythWSgjDR k  ‘Metaphysical’ is a strange name. Literally, it means: a certain branch of philosophy, to do with concepts like ‘Being’ and ‘Knowing’  It addresses key questions such as What does it mean to exist? How do we know? How can we be sure we know? What can we know?  The Metaphysical poets never used this term of themselves. It was their successors, who did not much care for their poetry, who gave them and their poetry the name:
  3. 3. Poetic philosophy Metaphysical poetry is not afraid of ideas and concepts. These may be philosophical, but they may also be to do with religion, or science, or politics, or mathematics. Metaphysical poetry sometimes uses these ideas as the main part of the argument of the poem; but they are also used as a source of imagery, to illustrate a point. Intellect and feeling In much Metaphysical poetry there is a debate going on, as in a law-court, in which a case is being made for or against somebody or something. The poems can have a considerable intellectual content but this does not mean that they are academic, boring, or without feeling. Most of the Metaphysical poets were also very passionate and very engaged emotionally but they managed to combine intellect and emotion, as good lawyers do in court.
  4. 4. SONNET: BATTER MY HEART John Donne (1572-1631) Batter my heart, three-person'd God; for, you As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend; That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow mee, and bend Your force, to breake, blowe, burn, and make mee new. I, like an usurpt towne, to another due, Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end, Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend, But is captiv'd, and proves weake or untrue. Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved faine, But am betroth'd unto your enemie: Divorce mee, untie, or breake that knot againe, Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I Except you enthrall mee, never shall be free, Nor ever chaste, except you ravish mee.
  5. 5. CONTENT  ‘Batter My Heart’ was written after Donne was asked to be an Anglican priest, the poem expresses his inner desperation and mental turmoil, Donne wants to let God into his life yet feels he is too weak, he is asking God to push himself in and the poem contains many violent images. The poem was shocking for its time and still has the power to shock as the four stanzas chart the struggle Donne undergoes.  Audience – Plausible that he could have read them to an audience of friends hence the shocking quality, not likely to have been read in a sermon due to controversial nature of ideas.  Purpose – This poem is an appeal to God, pleading with Him not for mercy or clemency or benevolent aid but for a violent, almost brutal overmastering.
  6. 6. FORM Statement Evidence Analysis This simple sonnet ABBAABBACDCE E rhyme scheme loose iambic pentameter Petrarchan sonnet octet followed by a sestet
  7. 7. SYNTAX Statement Evidence Analysis Imperative voice The title of Batter my Heart is an imperative and the overall mood of the entire poem is continued in the same manner. This emphasises the feeling of absolute desperation in Donne and is also very controversial, as imperatives are not usually used in addressing God enjambment makes the opening sentence complex which is indicative of the complex nature of the argument. Syndetic and asyndetic listing Second line show the strength of his feelings
  8. 8. LEXIS Statement Evidence Analysis Many modal verbs That I may rise this shows the uncertainty that Donne is feeling. A lexical set of violence. violent and powerful verbs break, blowe, burn this shows how violent Donne is feeling towards everything, his decision, his position, himself, his religion and his God. There is much repetition of personal pronoun mee this shows that the feelings and thoughts in Batter my Heart are very personal to the writer. ravish this has sexual connotations and references to rape Many premodifiers and intensifiers Yet dearly I love you. are used in this poem to emphasise the passion of Donne’s feelings.
  9. 9. IMAGERY Statement Evidence Analysis metaphors (the speaker’s heart as a captured town, the speaker as a maiden betrothed to God’s enemy) create the image of God as an overwhelming, violent conqueror.
  10. 10. PHONOLOGY Statement Evidence Analysis alliterative ,breake, blow, plosives and burn. tripling. This emphasises the harshness of Donne’s feelings. elision. o’erthrow, person’d, captiv’d, and betroth’d This helps the words to fit the structure of the poem, to put emphasis on a certain important words and is also an archiac feature An extended metaphor appears in this poem, that God is three types of man: a carpenter. A military man and a rapist Your force to breake, blowe, burn, and make mee new except you ravish mee. symbolism three person’d God symbolises the Holy Trinity.
  11. 11. S.E.A PARAGRAPHS  Choose one of the points from the table to write at least one statement, evidence, analysis paragraph.

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