Analyzing the poem by John Donne closely, we can see that he used a lot of figures of speech in order to convey what he feels. In the first line, when he said “three-personed God,” he was referring to the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit concept (Jokinen). He was asking the Lord to punish him. The reason behind his request is that he is getting bold, getting so full of himself, as reflected on the “that I may rise and stand.
” He asks that the Lord overthrow him, and then uses descriptive words “break, blow burn, and make me new,” these word all metaphors of making pottery. In the first lines, there is a clear statement of his aggressiveness, wherein he doesn’t fear even questioning God Himself. He then poses a simile, “I, like a usurped town to another due,” wherein he compares himself to an uprising, a rebellion. This is a battle of belief, of whether he remains faithful or not.
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He admits that he was trying hard to believe in the Lord, however, he himself wasn’t able to defend with reason, because of his weak belief, for his reason dwells upon that weakness. He then counters this statement by saying that he dearly loves the Lord, and he wishes to be loved back. But the problem would be his promise to the Lord’s enemy, which is the devil. These shows a simile of physical conflict, of violence which Donne wishes to convey to the readers.
The closing statement on the other hand speaks of a grotesque imagery, a description of rape, which would convey the relationship with God, as seen by Donne. But this may be because he wants to show the power of God, that even though there are various factors that affects a certain person, yet still, God remains powerful and can make or break you, depending on how you want it to be.
- Jokinen, Anniina. "John Donne, Holy Sonnets Xiv". 1996.
- March 21 2007. <http://www. luminarium. org/sevenlit/donne/sonnet14. php>.
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