Premium Essay

To What Extent Does Donne Present the Lovers as Equal in "To His Mistress Going to Bed"?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ash5755
Words 1313
Pages 6
To what extent does Donne present the lovers as equal in “To His Mistress Going To Bed”?
According to the Platonic formulation, beauty is ranked in several stages where we begin by being attracted to a single beautiful person, then beautiful minds, on to beautiful ideas, and finally, to beauty itself. In the poem, it appears that the narrator is stuck on the first rung. He is simply blinded by his mistress’ beauty; unable to describe anything other than her appearance and subsequently treats her as an object as opposed to an intelligent being. Unlike much of Donne’s other poetry which tends to prefer pure and platonic love as opposed to lust, making this poem unusual amongst his other works. This may seem to establish the narrator as subjectively superior and thus the lovers unequal. However on closer analysis this may be found not to be the case as the poem points to the mistress having an unassuming power over the narrator.
The woman’s role is established even before the poem begins as Donne describes her as “His Mistress”. The use of the possessive “His” implies ownership and foreshadows the domination that the narrator will lord over her throughout the poem. The term “mistress”, because it is not clearly defined who the woman is in relation to Donne, forces readers to make assumptions about the connotations behind the word and how it reflects upon the unknown woman. To a contemporary audience the word would most likely be interpreted as her having a sexual role in the play and as she is not his wife she is simply there for the narrator’s entertainment. This ambiguity about her identity leads to her being reduced to a stereotype with a set role to play rather than an individual that the narrator must interact with. One could even argue that it dehumanises her and allows the narrator to act this way with little to no remorse or empathy. This lack of identity is...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Essay

...Essays Essays Part II. 2, 2.] Part II. 2, 2.] Essays The Project Gutenberg EBook of Essays, by Ralph Waldo Emerson This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Essays Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson Editor: Edna H. L. Turpin Release Date: September 4, 2005 [EBook #16643] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ESSAYS *** 1 Essays Produced by Curtis A. Weyant , Sankar Viswanathan and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net ESSAYS BY RALPH WALDO EMERSON Merrill's English Texts SELECTED AND EDITED, WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES, BY EDNA H.L. TURPIN, AUTHOR OF "STORIES FROM AMERICAN HISTORY," "CLASSIC FABLES," "FAMOUS PAINTERS," ETC. NEW YORK CHARLES E. MERRILL CO. 1907 CONTENTS INTRODUCTION LIFE OF EMERSON CRITICAL OPINIONS CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF PRINCIPAL WORKS THE AMERICAN SCHOLAR COMPENSATION SELF RELIANCE FRIENDSHIP HEROISM MANNERS GIFTS NATURE SHAKESPEARE; OR, THE POET PRUDENCE CIRCLES NOTES PUBLISHERS' NOTE Merrill's English Texts 2 Essays 3 This series of books will include in complete editions those masterpieces of English Literature that are best adapted for the use of schools and colleges. The editors of the several volumes......

Words: 97797 - Pages: 392

Premium Essay

Harold Bloom

...Bloom’s Classic Critical Views W i l l ia m Sha k e Sp e a r e Bloom's Classic Critical Views alfred, lord Tennyson Benjamin Franklin The Brontës Charles Dickens edgar allan poe Geoffrey Chaucer George eliot George Gordon, lord Byron henry David Thoreau herman melville Jane austen John Donne and the metaphysical poets John milton Jonathan Swift mark Twain mary Shelley Nathaniel hawthorne Oscar Wilde percy Shelley ralph Waldo emerson robert Browning Samuel Taylor Coleridge Stephen Crane Walt Whitman William Blake William Shakespeare William Wordsworth Bloom’s Classic Critical Views W i l l ia m Sha k e Sp e a r e Edited and with an Introduction by Sterling professor of the humanities Yale University harold Bloom Bloom’s Classic Critical Views: William Shakespeare Copyright © 2010 Infobase Publishing Introduction © 2010 by Harold Bloom All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher. For more information contact: Bloom’s Literary Criticism An imprint of Infobase Publishing 132 West 31st Street New York NY 10001 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data William Shakespeare / edited and with an introduction by Harold Bloom : Neil Heims, volume editor. p. cm. — (Bloom’s classic critical views) Includes bibliographical references...

Words: 239932 - Pages: 960

Premium Essay

Montaigne

...continuing to do so as it grew up, obtained this by custom, that, when grown to be a great ox, she was still able to bear it. For, in truth, custom is a violent and treacherous schoolmistress. She, by little and little, slily and unperceived, slips in the foot of her authority, but having by this gentle and humble beginning, with the benefit of time, fixed and established it, she then unmasks a furious and tyrannic countenance, against which we have no more the courage or the power so much as to lift up our eyes. We see her, at every turn, forcing and violating the rules of nature: "Usus efficacissimus rerum omnium magister." I refer to her Plato's cave in his Republic, and the physicians, who so often submit the reasons of their art to her authority; as the story of that king, who by custom brought his stomach to that pass, as to live by poison, and the maid that Albertus reports to have lived upon spiders. In that new world of the Indies, there were found great nations, and in very differing climates, who were of the same diet, made provision of them, and fed them for their tables; as also, they did grasshoppers, mice, lizards, and bats; and in a time of scarcity of such delicacies, a toad was sold for six crowns, all which they cook, and dish up with several sauces. There were also others found, to whom our diet, and the flesh...

Words: 179434 - Pages: 718

Free Essay

Life of Chopin

... and generous sketch, from the hand of Franz Liszt, (who, considered in the double light of composer and performer, has no living equal,) of the original and romantic Chopin; the most ethereal, subtle, and delicate among our modern tone-poets. It is a rare thing for a great artist to write on art, to leave the passionate worlds of sounds or colors for the colder realm of words; rarer still for him to abdicate, even temporarily, his own throne, to stand patiently and hold aloft the blazing torch of his own genius, to illume the gloomy grave of another: yet this has Liszt done through love for Chopin. It is a matter of considerable interest to note how the nervous and agile fingers, accustomed to sovereign rule over the keys, handle the pen; how the musician feels as a man; how he estimates art and artists. Liszt is a man of extensive culture, vivid imagination, and great knowledge of the world; and, in addition to their high artistic value, his lines glow with poetic fervor, with impassioned eloquence. His musical criticisms are refined and acute, but without repulsive technicalities or scientific terms, ever sparkling with the poetic ardor of the generous soul through which the discriminating, yet appreciative awards were poured. Ah! in these days of degenerate rivalries and bitter jealousies, let us welcome a proof of affection so tender as his "Life of Chopin"! It would be impossible for the reader of this book to remain ignorant of the exactions of art. While, through......

Words: 44889 - Pages: 180

Premium Essay

Learning Theory

...- 31 The transition to 'theory' - 32 Some recurrent ideas in critical theory - 34 Selected reading - 36 2 Structuralism - 39 Structuralist chickens and liberal humanist eggs Signs of the fathers - Saussure - 41 Stop and think - 45 The scope of structuralism - 46 What structuralist critics do - 49 Structuralist criticism: examples - 50 Stop and think - 53 Stop and think - 55 39 Stop and think - 57 Selected reading - 60 3 Post-structuralism and deconstruction - 61 Some theoretical differences between structuralism and post-structuralism - 61 Post-structuralism - life on a decentred planet - 65 Stop and think - 68 Structuralism and post-structuralism - some practical differences - 70 What post-structuralist critics do - 73 Deconstruction: an example - 73 Selected reading - 79 4 Postmodernism - 81 What is postmodernism? What was modernism? - 81 'Landmarks' in postmodernism: Habermas, Lyotard and Baudrillard - 85 Stop and think - 90 What postmodernist critics do - 91 Postmodernist criticism: an example - 91 Selected reading - 94 5 Psychoanalytic criticism - 96 Introduction - 96 How Freudian interpretation works - 98 Stop and think - 101 Freud and evidence - 102 What Freudian psychoanalytic critics do - 105 Freudian...

Words: 98252 - Pages: 394

Free Essay

Swn Jdkjkjje Jne

...Employment News 31 May - 6 June 2014 www.employmentnews.gov.in 21 UNION PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION EXAMINATION NOTICE NO. 09/2014-CSP (LAST DATE FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS : 30/06/2014) DATE :31.05.2014 CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION, 2014 (Commission’s website-http://upsc.gov.in) F. No. 1/5/2013-E.I(B) : Preliminary Examination of the Civil Services Examination for recruitment to the Services and Posts mentioned below will be held by the Union Public Service Commission on 24th Aug., 2014 in accordance with the Rules published by the Department of Personnel & Training in the Gazette of India Extraordinary dated 31st May, 2014. (i) Indian Administrative Service. (ii) Indian Foreign Service. (iii) Indian Police Service. (iv) Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service, Group ‘A’. (v) Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Group ‘A’. (vi) Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), Group ‘A’. (vii) Indian Defence Accounts Service, Group ‘A’. (viii) Indian Revenue Service (I.T.), Group ‘A’. (ix) Indian Ordnance Factories Service, Group ‘A’ (Assistant Works Manager, Administration). (x) Indian Postal Service, Group ‘A’. (xi) Indian Civil Accounts Service, Group ‘A’. (xii) Indian Railway Traffic Service, Group ‘A’. (xiii) Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group 'A'. (xiv) Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group ‘A’. (xv) Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force, Group ‘A’ (xvi) Indian Defence Estates Service,......

Words: 47693 - Pages: 191

Free Essay

Whirlpool

...Employment News 11 - 17 February 2012 www.employmentnews.gov.in 21 Union Public Service Commission EXAMINATION NOTICE NO. 04/2012-CSP DATED 11.02.2012 (LAST DATE FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS : 05.03.2012) CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION, 2012 (Commission's website - http://www.upsc.gov.in) F. No. 1/4/2011-E.I(B) : Preliminary Examination of the Civil Services Examination for recruitment to the Services and Posts mentioned below will be held by the Union Public Service Commission on 20th May, 2012 in accordance with the Rules published by the Department of Personnel & Training in the Gazette of India Extraordinary dated 4th February, 2012. (i) Indian Administrative Service. (ii) Indian Foreign Service. (iii) Indian Police Service. (iv) Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service, Group ‘A’. (v) Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Group ‘A’. (vi) Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), Group ‘A’. (vii) Indian Defence Accounts Service, Group ‘A’. (viii) Indian Revenue Service (I.T.), Group ‘A’. (ix) Indian Ordnance Factories Service, Group ‘A’ (Assistant Works Manager, Administration). (x) Indian Postal Service, Group ‘A’. (xi) Indian Civil Accounts Service, Group ‘A’. (xii) Indian Railway Traffic Service, Group ‘A’. (xiii) Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group 'A'. (xiv) Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group ‘A’. (xv) Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force, Group ‘A’ (xvi) Indian Defence Estates Service, Group ‘A’. (xvii) Indian......

Words: 50586 - Pages: 203

Free Essay

Test2

...62118 0/nm 1/n1 2/nm 3/nm 4/nm 5/nm 6/nm 7/nm 8/nm 9/nm 1990s 0th/pt 1st/p 1th/tc 2nd/p 2th/tc 3rd/p 3th/tc 4th/pt 5th/pt 6th/pt 7th/pt 8th/pt 9th/pt 0s/pt a A AA AAA Aachen/M aardvark/SM Aaren/M Aarhus/M Aarika/M Aaron/M AB aback abacus/SM abaft Abagael/M Abagail/M abalone/SM abandoner/M abandon/LGDRS abandonment/SM abase/LGDSR abasement/S abaser/M abashed/UY abashment/MS abash/SDLG abate/DSRLG abated/U abatement/MS abater/M abattoir/SM Abba/M Abbe/M abbé/S abbess/SM Abbey/M abbey/MS Abbie/M Abbi/M Abbot/M abbot/MS Abbott/M abbr abbrev abbreviated/UA abbreviates/A abbreviate/XDSNG abbreviating/A abbreviation/M Abbye/M Abby/M ABC/M Abdel/M abdicate/NGDSX abdication/M abdomen/SM abdominal/YS abduct/DGS abduction/SM abductor/SM Abdul/M ab/DY abeam Abelard/M Abel/M Abelson/M Abe/M Aberdeen/M Abernathy/M aberrant/YS aberrational aberration/SM abet/S abetted abetting abettor/SM Abeu/M abeyance/MS abeyant Abey/M abhorred abhorrence/MS abhorrent/Y abhorrer/M abhorring abhor/S abidance/MS abide/JGSR abider/M abiding/Y Abidjan/M Abie/M Abigael/M Abigail/M Abigale/M Abilene/M ability/IMES abjection/MS abjectness/SM abject/SGPDY abjuration/SM abjuratory abjurer/M abjure/ZGSRD ablate/VGNSDX ablation/M ablative/SY ablaze abler/E ables/E ablest able/U abloom ablution/MS Ab/M ABM/S abnegate/NGSDX abnegation/M Abner/M abnormality/SM abnormal/SY ab......

Words: 113589 - Pages: 455