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A Comparison of Donnes The Sun Rising and Spensers Epithalamion

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A Comparison of Donne?s The Sun Rising and Spenser?s Epithalamion Assignment 2 Shannon Braun ENG 2111 T00040180 November 2012 Braun 2 In comparing John Donne?s The Sun Rising with the second stanza of Edmund Spenser?s Epithalamion, one can see that they are both lyric love poems, yet different in terms of style, tone, and presentation of the theme of love. In The Sun Rising, the sun is personified and the lovers? bedroom turned into their own world, in a metaphysical conceit. Epithalamion uses allusion and combines English Christianity, rich imagery and Greek mythology. The poet?s tone in The Sun Rising is initially annoyed, but he takes a more generous attitude toward the sun by the third stanza. In lines 19-36 of Epithalamion, the poet?s tone is excited and expectant as the day of his marriage dawns. In The Sun Rising, Donne has a grandiose and passionate view of love expressed through his conceits; nothing exists outside of their love. ...read more.


25-26). In both The Sun Rising and lines the second stanza of Epithalamion, the time of day is sunrise. In Epithalamion, the poet is happy; this is the day he has been anticipating. He greets the dawn excitedly; urging the muses to go and wake his fiancée, he says: with fresh lustyhed Go to the bowre of my beloved love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bid her awake (ll. 22-26). The “wished day” (ll. 31) day has begun. In The Sun Rising, the poet’s voice holds an initial tone of annoyance. He reprimands the sun for interrupting his lovemaking, telling it to go perform more commonplace duties: Braun 4 go chide Late schoolboys and sour prentices, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...read more.


The poet says ?Doe ye to her of joy and solace sing,? (ll. 35), showing his view of love is synonymous with joy; however it is still a pious and traditional concept. Epithalamion shows an orderly set of events taking place that must culminate in a Christian wedding before consummation can take place. Braun 5 In conclusion, although The Sun Rising and Epithalamion are both love poems, they differ considerably in style, tone, and their presentation on the theme of love. The Sun Rising uses metaphysical conceits, whereas Epithalamion uses allusion and mixes Christianity with Paganism, rich language and imagery. The poet?s tone in The Sun Rising is one of annoyance at the sunrise which turns more generous by the end of the poem, and the poet in lines 19-36 of Epithalamion has the joyous and excited tone of a man on his wedding day. Finally, The Sun Rising presents the poet?s love not only as a grandiose and passionate metaphor, and the most important thing in the world. The second stanza of Epithalamion presents a romantic yet more traditional concept of courtly love leading to marriage. ...read more.

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