John Donne (21 January 1572 –31 March 1631). The background of John Donne’s age. 1. Politics
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Born:21 January 1572； London
Died: 31 March
Poet, Priest(牧师), Lawyer
Satire（讽刺）, Love poetry, Elegy（悲歌）, Sermons （说教，布道）
Love, Sexuality, Religion, Death
Metaphysical Poetry （玄学派诗歌）
After three years at Oxford he was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge（剑桥大学）, where he studied for another three years .
In 1591 he was accepted as a student at the Thavies Inn legal school, one of the Inns of Chancery(衡平法律师学院 ) in London.
In 1592 he was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn, one of the Inns of Court.
The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. The other three are Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Gray's Inn.
Lincoln's Inn is able to trace its official records beyond those of the other three
Chancery Lane entrance
Chancery Lane entrance
Chancery Lane entrance
Library (left) and Bencher's rooms (right)
Donne left the Catholic Church. In 1610 and 1611 he wrote two anti-Catholic polemics(辩论)
He was certainly in communication with the King, James I of England.
He finally acceded to the King‘s wishes and in 1615 was ordained into the Church of England（英格兰圣公会）.
Knowledge ofEnglish societycoupled with sharp criticism of its problems.
Because ofHis numerous illnesses, financial strain, and the deaths of his friends
The change can be clearly seen in “An Anatomy of the World” (1611), a poem that Donne wrote in memory of Elizabeth Drury, daughter of his patron(赞助人), Sir Robert Drury.
This poem treats Elizabeth‘s demise(死亡) with extreme gloominess, using it as a symbol for the Fall of Man(人类的堕落)and the destruction of the universe(世界的毁灭).
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were.Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
海明威在他的名小說「單地鐘聲」（For Whom the Bell Tolls）用了這一段，意指任何人之死都與你有關。
Donne totally changed his writing
His numerous illnesses,finacial strain and the death of his friends all contributed more somber and pious tone in his later poems.
The change can be seen in “An Anatomy of the World”. The poem is gloomy. It was a symbol of the fall of man and the destruction of the universe.
Donne’s change may also be observed in the religious work. His early belife gave way to a firm faith in the traditional teaching of Bible.
Having converted to the church,Donne focus his literary career on realigious literary.He quickly became noted for his moving sermons and and religious poems.
Towards the end of his life, Donne wrote works that challenged death, and the fear that it inspired in many men,on the grounds of his belife that who die are sent to the Heaven to live eternally.
One example is his Holy Sonnet,from which comes the famous lines “Death, be not proud,though some have called thee /Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so”.
1. A great visitor of ladies2. A great frequenter of plays3. A great writer of conceited幻想,奇想 verses
At his time, John Donne was famed as apreacher【说教者;鼓吹者;宣传者】. Today, he is famed as a lyric poet. John Donne's conceit can be seen from his "Go catching the falling star" in which he listed many impossible things---the most impossible thing is a woman's faith and heart.
Style：(1) The use of conceits：Donne is considered a master of the metaphysical conceit, an extended metaphor that combines two vastly different ideas into a single idea, often using imagery.
One of the most famous of Donne's conceits is found in "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" where he compares two lovers who are separated to the two legs of a compass.
(2) The involvement of a certain kind of argument：Donne's poetry involves a certain kind of argument, sometimes in rigid严密的syllogistic【逻】三段论的;演绎推理的form. He seems to be speaking to an imagined hearer, raising the topic and trying to persuade, convince or upbraid him. With the brief, simple language, the srgument is continuous throughout the poem.
The term 'metaphysical' 形而上学的,纯粹哲学的can be applied to any poetry that explores spiritual or philosophicalmatters, it is usually used in reference to the poems of a group of 17th-century English poets.
Metaphysical poetry are the poets in the 17c England who often unconventionally use conceits and wit. The imagery is draw from everyday life. The form is the form of argument (with God, lover, himself). The diction is simple and the language is colloquial but powerful.
the leading of "metaphysical school"
And whisper to their soules, to goe,
Whilst some of their sad friends doe say,
The breath goes now, and some say, no:
No teare-floods, nor sigh-tempests move,
'Twere prophanation of our joyes
To tell the layetie our love.
Men reckon what it did and meant,
But trepidation of the spheares,
Though greater farre, is innocent.
(Whose soule is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
Those things which elemented it.
That we ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assured of the mind,
Care lesse, eyes, lips, and hnds to misse.
Though I must goe, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to ayery thinnesse beate.
As stiffe twin compasses are two,
Thy soule the fixt foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if the'other doe.
Yet when the other far doth rome,
It leanes, and hearkens after it,
And growes erect, as it comes home.
Like th'other foor, obliquely runne;
Thy firmnes makes my circle just,
And makes me end, where I begunne.