The Good Morrow Essay Free Essay

The verse form “The Good Morrow” by John Donne speaks of the pleasances of love when 1 has found the perfect individual. It besides speaks of the naivete and dissipation young person before coming into the complex cognition of the love that life can convey. The poet uses a assortment of literary devices to adorn the verse form. making several images through the usage of drawn-out metaphors and descriptions. The temper of the verse form is besides created through this linguistic communication. and he expresses the complexness of the passage from young person to adulthood through such stylistic attempts.

The poet besides uses allusions. apostrophe. symbolism. prefiguration and several other literary signifiers that serve to inculcate his verse form with significances and sentiments. The talker enriches the love he describes through the multiplicity of devices contained within the few lines. and in so making enriches his readers through allowing them a broad range of the lovers’ experiences. The verse form is divided into three sevens. which employ an surrogate rime strategy for the first four lines ( quatrain ) and so a parallel rime strategy for the concluding three.

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The lines are written in iambic pentameter ; and though the verse form is non written purely in sonnet signifier. the manner is evocative of the sonnet as each stanza represents precisely half the figure of lines that would be found in a sonnet. The rime strategy itself is a mixture of both Shakespearian and Petrarchan strategies. The surrogate and parallel rimes reflect that which is found in the Shakespearean sonnets.

On the other manus. the division of the lines for the rimes into a quatrain and a three ( 4/3 ) resemble slightly the Petrarchan. which is divided into subdivisions incorporating lines that rhyme in a 4/4/3/3 ( two quatrains and two threes ) form ( Stageberg. 1948 ; Vendler. 1997 ) . Donne begins the verse form with an curse that instantly alerts the reader to the earnestness of the speaker’s bosom as he utters the words. He uses the word “wonder” to denote a brooding temper. but the words contained in the first two lines highlight besides a different signifier of admiration.

The talker expresses his awe at what could hold occupied his clip in the yearss before he met his love. He wonders how he could non hold felt his life as empty so as he now knows it must hold been. since what it had lacked has now made itself known to him. He goes on to utilize a metaphor that compares him and his love ( before they met ) to kids who had non yet been weaned. The usage of the thought of ablactating calls to mind the image of two immature individuals who had remained for good in the sucking phase of babyhood for many old ages before coming to the promoting cognition of love.

Donne goes on to widen the metaphor. as he represents them as holding “sucked” on the idyllic pleasances of the Earth. In so making. he represents that the two in their young person had barely developed throughout over the many old ages they spent as young persons. as they simply exchanged one lactating female parent ( their ain biological 1s ) for another in the signifier of nature. This usage of metaphor high spots the extent of these lovers’ immatureness before they find love. Donne besides goes on to compare the young person of the talker and his lover to the blissful ignorance that comes with slumber.

He adds a shade of craze to their characters at this clip as he describes them as holding “snorted [ … ] in the Seven Sleepers’ den” ( line 4 ) . This brings to mind more than merely an guiltless image of slumber. nevertheless. as it besides gives the thought of being drugged. The thought of puffing may be detached from that of snore and be rediscovered through comparing with the method of taking such a drug as opium. Therefore. the cloud nine of their young person is seen as an semblance created by an opium dream. which may hold been perpetrated upon them by the trickeries of Mother Nature who sought to deflect them from life’s true pleasance: love.

This thought is supported in the subsequent lines where the talker says all the pleasances nature provided were but illusions. and all beauties but a dream or precursor to his new-found love. The 2nd seven of the verse form is devoted to the description of the psychological status of these two individuals who have now been awakened to love. The talker greets both himself and his lover with the phrase “good morrow. ” and in so making custodies them exactly the recognizing one gives to those who have merely awakened from slumber ( Bell. 2003 ) .

In fact. he describes the two as “waking psyche. ” and this description goes exactly to the bosom of the how their “waking” should be interpreted. It is non a physical slumber from which they are now waking but a psychological 1. Their psyche. which had before been taken confined by the soporiferous humanistic disciplines of nature and young person. have now become aware of life and the love that defines true life. This stanza quickly abandons the thought of waking. yet remains a description of the lovers’ psychological province.

The two are captive upon each other as their eyes are fixed merely on the face of the 1 they love. In fact. they are about described as discorporate liquors. as it is the psyche that are said to “watch [ … ] one another” ( line 9 ) . The transformational nature of love can here be seen. as it transforms their psyches into sense objects. doing their psychological province more concrete than even their physical provinces at the minute. It dictates the urges to which they respond ( or. instead. neglect to react ) . as the Donne writes. “For love all love of other sights controls” ( line 10 ) .

The transformational nature of their love can besides be seen in its ability to alter the most everyday physical locations into a Eden worthy of being the scene of their love. This love is capable of doing “one small room an everywhere” ( line 11 ) . harmonizing properties of eternity to a really finite topographic point. This excessively highlights the psychological province of these two lovers. who consider their chances to hold widened boundlessly since holding discovered their love ( Bell. 2003 ) .

At this point the talker begins to do allusions to certain careers that highlight the far-reaching facets of the love to which these two people are going oriented. Mention is made to sea-discoverers who have gone to new universes. and this can be compared to these two individuals who have discovered a new universe super-imposed upon their old one and filled with new pleasances. The significance of the sea in this allusion is the enormousness of this H2O organic structure and the unknown facet of what it contains.

This symbolizes the life that these two now face. with the enormousness of their love and the unknown facets of what they will confront in the hereafter ( Bell. 2003 ) . However. their avidity to undertake these terra incognitas may besides be compared with those sea-farers who feel at one with the sea and are more at place there one time they have discovered it. The thought of love holding super-imposed a new universe upon the lovers’ old universe is a dramatic parallel image that is frequently repeated in this 2nd stanza.

Donne writes. “Let maps to other universes on universes have shown” ( line 12 ) . and this demonstrates how the new constellation that the lovers’ lives now take on has obliterated the universe that they had one time lived in. The new universe in which they now live has so effaced the old that they wonder at holding lived at all in the old 1. This is compared to a map that has been redrafted to take into consideration sea-farers’ new finds. and which has now made the old maps disused. In fact. such maps have proven that what had been the position quo was a prevarication. and that beliefs held before had been erroneous.

This is besides true of these lovers. as their new life infused with love has replaced their old one and revealed the prevarications that they had been populating ( Bell. 2003 ) . The two so make up one’s mind to populate in this new universe where their love has been discovered. The talker even goes every bit far as to compare their brotherhood as the meeting and melding of two universes: “Let us possess one universe ; each hath one and is one” ( line 14 ) . This thought is besides prefigured in the sea-faring metaphor where Old World enters another universe and creates a New World. The deepness to which their brotherhood runs is introduced in the 3rd stanza.

The two seem to hold melted into each other and become identical. The poet uses the image of a mirror. and someway likens the face of each to that brooding instrument. Each lover is able to see his face in the visage of the other through a natural phenomenon that allows the oculus to move like a mirror. Yet. this image becomes more profound when the talker asserts that their Black Marias are besides seeable in their faces. This transforms or modifies the metaphor of the oculus as a mirror to the common one of the eyes’ being the soul’s window.

Their emotions are seeable on their faces. in his lover’s face. the talker is able to see his ain emotions reflected as they fuse into unity. Donne once more entreaties to the Old World/New World metaphor he uses earlier. but adds to that the usage of pun to compare that image to the two lovers. He writes. “Where can we happen two better hemispheres” ( line 17 ) . and this alludes non merely to the East and Western Hemispheres of the Old and New Worlds. but besides the right and left hemispheres of the encephalons of these two lovers who find themselves so compatible.

Through widening this metaphor. they once more declare themselves two halves of the same whole who. holding been nescient of each other. have now found their true fates ( Bell. 2003 ) . They even consider themselves as holding the ability to withstand decease because of the equality of their lucifer. They are superior even to the Earth and its “declining West. ” as this implies the scene of a Sun that has merely merely arisen for them. In the waking of their “good morrow” they are unable to see any intimation of diminution. Their love basks now in a sunshine that has no evident purpose of waning.

The ageless facet of their love the talker attributes to its strength and their compatibility. Donne writes. “Whatever dies was non assorted equally” ( line 19 ) . bespeaking a one-to-one facet bing within their personalities that strengthens the ties that they have even against the decay of decease. To their recognition. it appears that the ability to last decease is credited non to their mortal organic structures. but to the love that transcends all physical entities and launches itself into the kingdom of the ageless. The description is given as follows: “If our two loves be one. or thou and I love so likewise that none can slow. none can die” ( lines 20-21 ) .

This love defies decease by adhering to its object in direct contrast to the manner their vernal ignorance of each other had kept them both apart and accordingly devoid of life. In being invariably cognizant of each other and adhering to the love they now portion. they have the ability eternalize their love beyond the range of their mortal lives. The verse form by John Donne begins with a description of the motionlessness of these two loveless young persons and terminals by commemorating them via their love. The usage of metaphors. imagination. symbolism. prefiguration and linguistic communication has contributed to the profusion of the work.

Within merely 21 lines. Donne is able to capture several external thoughts and weave them seamlessly into the verse form to spread out the range of these lovers’ experiences. He has besides used these devices to light the psychological response that these two make to the find of their new love. The romanticism they express is besides revealed through the usage of poetic enunciation and allusions to such absolutes as immortality and integrity. The poet besides demonstrates his singular accomplishment in inculcating the verse form with all these literary objects while keeping a comparatively rigorous signifier and construction.


Bell. I. ( 2003 ) . “Bethrothal: ‘the good morrow’ . ” John Donne Journal: surveies in the age of John Donne. 22: 23-30. Donne. J. ( 1999 ) . “The good morrow. ” Norton Anthology of English Literature. Eds. Abrams. et Al. Vol. 1. 5th Ed. New York: W. W. Norton & A ; Co. Stageberg. N. C. ( 1948 ) . “The aesthetic of the Petrarchan sonnet. ” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. 7 ( 2 ) : 132-137. Vendler. H. ( 1997 ) . The art of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

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