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Article on Analysis of Holy Sonnet XIV

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Analysis of Holy Sonnet XIV Throughout history, many people have endeavoured to communicate their interpretations, or adventures, of the relationship between God and mankind. Many interpretations are optimistic - Psalm 139 of this Bible, for example, portrays the relationship between individual and God as a personal and intimate one - yet only as many are negative. 1 such interpretation is Holy Sonnet XIV, an intensely private poem by John Donne which explores the feelings of a man torn between physical desire and religious liberty. In this essay I would like to study the poem in more detail, reevaluate what Donne states and how he says it. Holy Sonnet XIV was written at a time of crisis and confusion in Donne's life; a time when he was torn between spiritual longing for faith and holiness, and bodily passion. The poem conveys a feeling of extreme ambivalence - at one point, Donne expresses his feelings toward God in the lineup "Yet dearly I love you", nevertheless this profession comes just 1 line following his description of Jesus as "feeble" and "untrue". In reality, the poem is addressed to God Himself, together with Donne controlling Him to "batter" his heart, take charge of every part of his life and reform him from deep inside. The poem starts with Donne commanding God to "Batter my heart". Instantly, Donne is telling God (described as "three person'd" an allusion to the Trinity) to break into his life. The word "batter" is very harsh, emphasising the brutality of the activity which Donne is commanding God to perform. This brutality is further emphasised by the fact that Donne asks God to batter his heart, something that's seen as very fragile and tend...

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