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Religious Renewal and Sexual Masochism at "Batter my heart, three person'd God" In Donne's Holy Sonnet, "Batter my heart, three person'd God," themes of religious renewal and sexual masochism are abundant. While spiritual renewal is obviously the front-most, and many clearly defined significance of the poem, the poet's selection of phrases and subtle analogies render the poem wide open for speculation regarding sexual significance. That John Donne has been a preacher, the fire and brimstone, evangelical ringings of religious renewal in this poem are well based. An individual's soul, invaded by Satan's sin, needs to be purged by whatever means required by God's force. Donne associates his tainted soul with that of a "usurp'd towne," invaded by an enemy (Satan), however "to'another due," (the Trinity). He asks God to break the impurity by push and to conquer his spirit clean and into repentance. While this all makes sense on the initial degree, there are many dualities, and sexual undertones within the poem. Several words in the poem include a number of meanings, further promoting the mingling of the sacred and profane through the poem. Especially towards the end of the poem, these words help to warrant what the reader may have guessed at earlier in the poem. 'Enthrall,' for example, used in the sense of something God does to the poet, ' can mean 'to hold or capture, enslave', (with a negative connotation) or 'to hold spellbound by pleasing attributes' (using a favorable connotation). This makes uncertain, or at least arguable, Donne's attitudes toward the emotions involved in being accepted from God, in addition to the possibility of delight found in a sexual act being clarified. Another, 'betroth'd, '' usua...