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John Donne (21 January 1572 –31 March 1631). The background of John Donne’s age. 1. Politics

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John Donne (21 January 1572 –31 March 1631)


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the background of john donne s age
The background of John Donne’s age
  • 1.Politics
  • John Donne‘s life(1572-1631)got across two dynasties ——House of Tudor and House of Stuart. The Tudors extended their power beyond England, achieving the full union of England in 1542.The Tudor line failed in 1603 with the death of Elizabeth I. Then James I inherited the throne and began the house of Stuart, which publicized the ideas of “divine right of kings”(君权神授) and launched absolute feudal reign, which greatly hindered the development of capitalism.
slide3
2.Economics
  • Feudal   mode of production was greatly shocked by capitalism. The Tudors paid much attention on capitalism business. It began the enclosure movement ,which forced famers stepped into business activities and provided large scales for industrial activities. The Tudors also encouraged the development of manufacturing and worldwide business. In 1588, England won the war against Spain and ensure its overlord status on the sea(change of trade center). All of these greatly accelerated the development of capitalism.
slide4
3.Religion
  • The Protestant Reformation (1517–1648) was the European Christian reform movement that established Protestantism as a constituent branch of contemporary Christianity. The separation of the Church of England from Rome under Henry VII, beginning in 1529 and completed in1536, brought England alongside this broad Reformation movement; however, religious changes in the English national church proceeded more conservatively than elsewhere in Europe.
slide5
4.culture and thoughts
  • the Renaissance(文艺复兴)began at the 13th century andreached its peak at the 16th century in Europe. People ‘s thoughts get away from the restriction of feudal belief of god and religion and became more realistic and human. This was a great emancipation, which led to the appearance of a lot of great people, such as Francis Bacon and Shakespeare.
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Basic information

Born:21 January 1572; London

Died: 31 March

Nationality: English

Occupation:

Poet, Priest(牧师), Lawyer

Genres(流派):

Satire(讽刺), Love poetry, Elegy(悲歌), Sermons (说教,布道)

Subjects:

Love, Sexuality, Religion, Death

Literary movement:

Metaphysical Poetry (玄学派诗歌)

JOHN DONNE

slide7

Life

  • Early life:
  • John Donne was born on Bread Street in London, England, into a Catholic family at a time when Catholicism was illegal in England.
  • Despite the obvious dangers, Donne’s family arranged for his education by the Jesuits(耶稣会士,天主教修会之一), which gave him a deep knowledge of his religion.
  • But his brother Henry Donne died of black death(黑死病), leading John Donne to begin questioning his Catholic faith.
slide8

Life

  • Study:
  • Donne was a student at Hart Hall, now Hertford College, Oxford(牛津大学哈福特学院), from the age of 11.

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.

slide10

Lincoln's Inn

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

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Library (left) and Bencher's rooms (right)

Chancery Lane entrance

Chancery Lane entrance

Chancery Lane entrance

Lincoln's Inn

Library (left) and Bencher's rooms (right)

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Life

  • Later life:
  • In 1602, Donne was elected as Member of Parliament for the constituency of Brackley.

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).

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Life

  • Death
  • It is thought that his final illness was stomach cancer.
  • He died on 31 March 1631, having left a body of work fiercely engaged with the emotional and intellectual conflicts of his age.
  • though only in manuscript - his poems would not be printed and published until two years after his death
  • John Donne is buried in St Paul’s(圣保罗), where a memorial statue of him was erected ,with a Latin epigraph(铭文) probably composed by himself.
slide15
A portrait of Donne as a young man in 1595
  • (In the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London)
slide16

Early poetry

  • Donne'searliest poems:

Knowledge ofEnglish societycoupled with sharp criticism of its problems.

  • His satires:
  • dealt with common Elizabethan topics, such as corruption(腐败)in the legal system.
  • deals with the problem of true religion, a matter of great importance to Donne. He argued that it was better to examine carefully one's religious convictions than blindly to follow any established tradition, for none would be saved at the Final Judgment.
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Early poetry

  • His erotic poetry:
  • Donne’s early career was also notable for his erotic poetry(sexy poetry), especially his elegies(悲歌) .
  • He employed unconventional metaphors(非传统的隐喻), such as a flea biting two lovers being compared to sex.
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Later poetry

  • a more somber忧郁的 and pious(虔诚的) tone in his later poems:

Because ofHis numerous illnesses, financial strain, and the deaths of his friends

  • For example:

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).

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Later poetry

  • Donne focused his literary career on religious literature.He quickly became noted for his sermons and religious poems.
  • His early belief in the value of skepticism(怀疑论)now gave way to a firm faith in the traditional teachings of the Bible.
  • The lines of these sermons come to influence future works of English literature.
  • E.g. Ernest Hemingway‘s For Whom the Bell Tolls(战地钟声),which took its title from a passage in Meditation XVII
  • Thomas Merton’s No Man is an Island,which took its title from the same source.
slide20

Later poetry

Meditation XVII沉思第十七篇

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。

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Later poetry

  • Works at the end of his life: challenge death
  • 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 belief that those who die are sent to Heaven to live eternally.
slide22

Why

Donne totally changed his writing

style?

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.

the increasing gloominess
The Increasing Gloominess

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.

slide25

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”.

john donne is famed for 3 things
John Donne is famed for 3 things

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.

donne s style
Donne’sStyle

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.

donne s style28
Donne’s Style

(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.

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metaphysical poetry

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.

metaphysical poetry
metaphysical poetry
  • With a rebellious spirit, the metaphysical poets tried to break away from the conventional fashion of the Elizabethan love poetry. The diction is simple and echoes the words and cadences of common speech. The imagery is drawn from the actual life. The form is frequently that of an argument with the poet’s beloved, with God, or with himself.
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Metaphysical Poets“玄学派诗人”

  • John Donne约翰·邓恩/多恩

the leading of "metaphysical school"

  • George Herbert 乔治·赫伯特
  • Andrew Marvel安德鲁·马韦尔
death be not found
Death be not found
  • death be not found.mp3
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form
  • Form This simple sonnet follows an ABBAABBACDCDEE rhyme scheme and is written in a loose iambic pentameter. In its structural division of its subject, it is a Petrarcan sonnet rather than a Shakespearean one, with an octet (十四行诗的)前八行 )establishing the poem‘s tension, and the subsequent sestet(后六行) resolving it.
themes
Themes
  • 1:Courage and Willpower in the Face of Death
  • 2:The Uniqueness of Loving Life
summary
Summary
  • The speaker tells Death that it should not feel proud, for though some have called it "mighty and dreadful," it is not. Those whom Death thinks it kills do not truly die, nor, the speaker says, "can'st thou kill me." indeed,  death itself will die. 
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Song
  • John Donne writes love poems in two directions:
  • supportive :“早安”(The Good Morrow)
  • Negative:“歌”(Song)
summary37
Summary
  • The entire poem is discussing this kind of thesis:Whether the female will be loyal to love? The author expresses women’s disloyal sarcastically.
the other poems by john donne
The other poems by John Donne
  • The Rising Sun
  • a valediction: forbidding mourning. 《别离辞:节哀》
  • Songs and Sonnets《歌与十四行诗》
  • the Elegies《挽歌》
a reference book
A reference Book
  • JOHN DONNE''S POETRY约翰·邓恩的诗歌(诺顿英国文学评论版)
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This Second Edition of John Donne's Poetry presents a large selection of his most significant work. To the more than one hundred poems of the First Edition, nineteen poems have been added - - five Elegies, four Satires (enabling the reader to view them as a sequence, as they have come to be regarded), six Verse Letters, and four Divine Poems. The text of all the poems is again that of the seventee......
slide43
As virtous men passe mildly'away,

And whisper to their soules, to goe,

Whilst some of their sad friends doe say,

The breath goes now, and some say, no:

正如德高人逝世很安然,

对灵魂轻轻的说一声走,

悲伤的朋友们聚在旁边,

有的说断气了,有的说没有。

slide44
So let us melt, and make no noise,

No teare-floods, nor sigh-tempests move,

'Twere prophanation of our joyes

To tell the layetie our love.

让我们化了,一声也不作,

泪浪也不翻,叹风也不兴;

那是亵渎我们的欢乐——

要是对俗人讲我们的爱情。

slide45
Moving of th'earth brings harmes and feares,

Men reckon what it did and meant,

But trepidation of the spheares,

Though greater farre, is innocent.

地动会带来灾害和惊恐,

人们估计它干什么,要怎样,

可是那些天体的震动,

虽然大得多,什么也不伤。

slide46
Dull sublunary lovers love

(Whose soule is sense) cannot admit

Absence, because it doth remove

Those things which elemented it.

世俗的男女彼此的相好,

(他们的灵魂是官能)就最忌

别离,因为那就会取消

组成爱恋的那一套东西。

slide47
But we by a'love, so much refin'd

That we ourselves know not what it is,

Inter-assured of the mind,

Care lesse, eyes, lips, and hnds to misse.

我们被爱情提炼得纯净,

自己都不知道存什么念头

互相在心灵上得到了保证,

再不愁碰不到眼睛、嘴和手。

slide48
Our two soules therefore, which are one,

Though I must goe, endure not yet

A breach, but an expansion,

Like gold to ayery thinnesse beate.

两个灵魂打成了一片,

虽说我得走,却并不变成

破裂,而只是向外伸延,

像金子打到薄薄的一层。

slide49
If they be two, they are two so

As stiffe twin compasses are two,

Thy soule the fixt foot, makes no show

To move, but doth, if the'other doe.

就还算两个吧,两个却这样

和一副两脚规情况相同;

你的灵魂是定脚,并不像

移动,另一脚一移,它也动。

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And though it in the center sit,

Yet when the other far doth rome,

It leanes, and hearkens after it,

And growes erect, as it comes home.

虽然它一直是坐在中心,

可是另一个去天涯海角,

它就侧了身,倾听八垠;

那一个一回家,它马上挺腰。

slide51
Such wilt thou be to mee, who must

Like th'other foor, obliquely runne;

Thy firmnes makes my circle just,

And makes me end, where I begunne.

你对我就会这样子,我一生

像另外那一脚,得侧身打转;

你坚定,我的圆圈才会准,

我才会终结在开始的地点。

slide52
参考文献:
  • [1]王佐良、李赋宁、周钰良、刘承沛 ,《英国文学名篇选注》。商务印书馆。北京。1999
  • [2]本诗译文采自卞芝琳《英国诗选》。商务印书馆。北京。1996
  • [3]胡家峦,《历史的星空》。北京大学出版社。2001
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My understanding of the poetry
  • The poem “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” is about a couple’s parting and the love or a high spiritual level.
  • The subject of the poem is the parting of two lovers.  In the poem, the description of the lover’s love is without a doubt. The author tells his wife not to cry when he leaves, because their love is so much greater than everyone else’ love that can endure separation.
  • The effect is not to undermine the emotion of the lovers parting.
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在该诗中,多恩主要抒写了爱的发现和爱的拥有,赞颂男女恋人之间的净化了的感情,认为他们之间的分离并不重要,甚至并不可能。在该诗中,多恩主要抒写了爱的发现和爱的拥有,赞颂男女恋人之间的净化了的感情,认为他们之间的分离并不重要,甚至并不可能。

本诗第一节很突兀,一开始就描述死亡的场面,作者当时和爱妻分离的场面不难理解作者用意之所在,“生离”对于恩爱非常的夫妻来说无异于“死别”。

第二节继续关于死亡的描述。指精神和肉体所达到的完美的极致。

在第三节中,约翰·多恩提到的地动和天体的震动等一些自然现象,必然带来灾难,所以常常出现惊恐情绪。

在最后的三节中,多恩又采用了“圆规”的比喻。多恩把夫妻双方的作圆规的两脚。这表明男女双方互相理解,互相支撑,忠贞于彼此。