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Compare and Contrast George Herbert's 'Love' with Donne's 'Holy Sonnet'

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast George Herbert's 'Love' with Donne's 'Holy Sonnet' (TGR) The very opening word of John Donne's "Death be not proud" is "Death", he is directly challenging death, whereas Herbert's first word is "Love". This creates a binary opposition as the two words are complete opposites. There is also a clear difference in the rhyming schemes. John Donne uses Petrarchan sonnet as it is the normal conventional scheme. This conveys Donne's defiant and determined attitude as he knows exactly what he wants and how he feels. This is shown through the imperative Donne uses in the opening line "Death be not proud". Also we see his boldness and defiant tone when he uses strong stresses at the beginning "mighty" and die". ...read more.

Middle

Donne later begins to pity "Death" as he uses the adjective "poor" to describe death. Once Donne has said this we see that the tension disappear and he relaxes as he starts to use imagery. Paradox Donne and Herbert share similar attitudes. We see this portrayed in the way that both men use abstract nouns "Death" and "love" two powerful entities that can not be proved. We see Agape (unconditional love) through Herbert's "love" via the semantic field of religion. This is clear to see when he uses the nouns "Soul" and "sin". The very opening line of "love" suggests Herbert is talking to Jesus "Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back". ...read more.

Conclusion

Donne breaks the iambic pentameter towards the end on the Sonnet when he says "Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men". On the other hand Herbert keeps the rhythm of the poem the equal. Donne also uses ellipsis in two instances of his Sonnet "Much pleasure; than from thee much more must flow" and "Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery". Also Donne uses the inferior pronoun "thou" when approaching death, however Herbert uses the objective personal pronoun "me" to describe the effect of love on him. The poet in fact personifies death, speaking directly to Death as if it were a person. He accuses Death of having absolutely nothing to boast about because, in the end, Death has no power whatever. Although Herbert seems accept love and does not challenge it "So I did sit and eat". ?? ?? ?? ?? Sara Mall ...read more.

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