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Compare the Way in which John Donne and Swift present the women in their poems: What impressions do

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Introduction

"Compare the Way in which John Donne and Swift present the women in their poems: What impressions do they Create?" From the titles of both poems, it is easy to make a judgement of both and one would say that they are not to far apart in content. Swift's "A Beautiful young Nymph going to Bed" would lead you to suggest that his poem has a heroic woman who he is then going to ingratiate with praise and respect; this is quite the opposite, Swift's poem is parodying the heroic poem that was fashionable at the time and instead has produced a mock-heroic work. This title sets up expectations for the reader that are false, this all part of Swift's plan to get his point across. Donne's "To his mistress going to bed" makes us think of a slightly less mythical and god-like woman but a poem that is based more on personal experience than on dream-like figures. The first line of Swift's poem is designed to confuse and deflate the reader's expectations that the title set up, he calls her 'Corinna' this name conjures up images of a gracious, pleasant young woman who lives in the country and looks after her family. ...read more.

Middle

image of her taking of plasters that cover up her weeping sores is vile and swift is humiliating her for the reader: " With gentlest touch she next explores her shankers, Issues, running sores." Donne flatters his idealised woman to persuade her to take her clothes off and satisfy him, he compares her glistening belt to heaven because heaven encompasses the world and her belt encompasses everything that he desires, he suggests that her belt encompasses something more beautiful than the sky itself: "Off with that girdle, like heaven's zone glistening, But a fairer world encompassing." Once again Donne is expressing his love of women and what they hold in order to pleasure him. He goes on and starts to rejoice about the breastplate that she wears, because he gets to see under it whereas everyone else is distracted by the jewels "Unpin that spangled breastplate that you wear that th'eyes of busy fools may be stopped there." Donne is showing possessiveness towards his symbolic mistress and perhaps shows signs of jealously because she can have any man she wants. This is compared to the satire that Swift uses through out the poem to convey his moral message: "with pains of love tormented lies" Swift compares a Nymph's emotional anguish in love to the woman's physical pain that she endures. ...read more.

Conclusion

He sees her as an elevated subject to which respect must be laid, this concept is not so much heroic but has touches of classical poetry, it is not heroic because the language used is not elaborate enough and nor does in have connotations to other heroes. But the way in which he praises an elevated subject is like how classical poets praised gods. The way in which both address their subject is very important because Donne is direct we are encapsulated by her and we feel pulled in just as he is. By talking to her in direct speech it makes the scene more dramatic and exciting. But Swift talks about his subject in the third person, which keeps her at arm's length just as we would if we met this woman. The verse that each poet uses is also important in their conveying of themes and ideas; Swift uses iambic tetrameter which was used in comic poetry because it makes the verse simple. He uses the Caesura in each line effectively as well, sometimes he has it early and others it is late depending on what he wants to emphasise in the line. Donne uses iambic pentameter which is a far more orthodox method of writing at that time. ...read more.

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