He rarely, however, places the object of his affection on a pedestal.
Where the ideals of courtly love held the woman to be unreachable, Donne has lines such as the following from "The Indifferent" which read, "I can love her, and her, and you , and you,/I can love any so she be not true." (ll.
This conflict and resulting breakdown of former ideals illustrates the larger conflict seen in the era which Donne survived.
Another belief which Donne addressed was the perspective with which women were viewed in the poetry of the time.
A central theme of healing and forgiveness imply that John Donne, however much he wrote about God and being holy, wasn't such a holy man all of the time and tried to make up for it in his writing....
In The Flea Donne adopts a cynical and rather flippant tone towards his woman, using his wit to try to belittle and overcome her moral arguments, in favour of immediate pleasure.
In an essay entitled "John Donne," Achsah Guibbory supports this reading of the poem, stating, "The world of love contains everything of value; it is the only one worth exploring and possessing.
In the poem “The Flea” by John Donne, the speaker uses clever sexual innuendo and metaphors in an attempt to manipulate a certain girl into losing her virginity to him....
But in reading Donne one soon learns that an attitude expressed in one poem is not to be taken as absolute and exclusive. One of Donne's characteristics is that he freely contradicts himself from one poem to another. The title of this poem, The Extasie, implies that love is a religious experience, just as the diction of To his Mistris Going to Bed conveyed sex as a religious experience. The religious metaphors give a hyperbolic intensity to his imagery, but the ideas expressed in The Extasie are firmly rooted in the scientific theories of his day.
The renowned metaphysical poet John Donne uses the genre for this very purpose in “The Flea,” a work in which he encourages a young woman to have premarital sex with him.
16-18) This inconsistent nature attributed to females is hardly complimentary, but it is certainly a vast change from the cold indifference of Petrarch's idyllic mistress.
In still another twist on poetic description of social norms, "The Undertaking" presents as a brave (to the point of heroic) deed his relationship with a woman based on the "virtue" in her heart and then the hiding of that relationship to avoid scorn.
Despite the personal reference in the pun on 'Donne', and despite also being written as a first-person address, this poem is not so personal as 'Batter my Heart'. Where 'Batter my Heart' expresses a complex agonising personal struggle, 'A Hymn to God the Father' expresses a simpler universal notion which all Christians can share. This is a quality essential for a hymn. The congregation can easily share the sentiments of 'A Hymn to God the Father', but 'Batter my Heart' is appropriate to Donne alone.
In the rest of the poem, Donne states that this exercise (relating with a woman based on her virtue) is useless, as it is almost impossible to find such a woman with virtuous heart (ll.
By intentionally manipulating the common poetic instruments employed by the classics, Donne creates a very ironic tone in which he twists and breaks apart those ideals.
'Batter my Heart' follows the typical Metaphysical form of a logical argument. In this case, however, the argument does not really progress but serves to reinforce and explain the demand made in the opening line.
Still, the peculiarities of this poem should be viewed for all they are worth, as they are particularly reflective of the change in the view of women.
In the phrase "forget the He and She," Donne expresses a sort of visionary equality through the shedding of gender roles.