Donne's Approach To Love In Elegy 19

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Donne’s approach to the erotic revolves around the Ovid style of poetry. Ovid teases the reader with its wit and detachment in describing the aggressive pursuit of woman by the male speaker (Guibbory 133). An example of this style is Donne’s ‘Elegy 19’. ‘Elegy 19’ depicts a dominant male coaxing a faceless woman into undressing through witty conceits revolving around colonialism. For Donne’s speaker, the act of sexual intercourse is much like a battle and the conquest of a country. ‘The foe ofttimes having the foe in sight/ Is tired with standing though he never fight’ (3-4). This conceit, based on soldiers standing at war, creates an air of dominance. The speaker alludes to the fact that while he waits for her to undress, he is…show more content…
Again Donne focuses on the act of sexual intercourse which gives new world to the lovers in ‘Good Morrow’. The speaker, awakening beside his love after their first time, feels like a new world has opened to them. ‘What thou and I/Did till we loved?’ (1-2), this opening line creates a feeling of awe and wonder. The speaker cannot comprehend how they possibly loved before the act of intercourse. Donne’s metaphysical approach dominates with subtle references to the bond created through sexual intimacy. Greteman makes the point that Donne’s love poem centres on the idea that human love is only filled by sexual achievement (26). This point is crucial to understanding Donne’s approach to love poems, and can be seen in this work. ‘Good morrow to our waking souls’ (8), the speaker focuses on the spiritual realm they have reached. Through their consummation of their lover, the pair have create and ‘possess one world’ (14). In this world, their souls combine to leave behind all worldly conquests. In this poem, Donne renounces the dominant male who aims to conquer his female. To the speaker in this poem conquest is ‘gone’ and all he can see is his partner. Where can we find two better hemispheres?’ he does not need to conquer new lands as they combined to form one world, one perfected by love. This work contrasts the desperation and dominance expressed in the other two works discussed in this

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