Compare the Religious Metaphors Suggested in ‘Batter My Heart’ and ‘Plays Last Scene’ by John Donne

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Compare the religious metaphors suggested in ‘batter my heart’ and ‘plays last scene’ by John Donne. John Donne is well known for his use of religious topics in his poems, coupled with strong metaphors and conceits. This is most obvious in his collection of poetry called “Holy Sonnets”. One of his most famous of these is Holy Sonnet 10 “Batter my heart” in which the violence of the imagery shocks the reader. The lines that follow will clarify the poem and the violent imagery, so as to help the reader understand Donne’s motivations. Batter my heart, addressed towards God, portrays the writers confused and conflicted state of mind. He appears guilty for his sins he has committed in his life but has come to realise that he has no chance of redemption without the help of God’s love, “imprison me…never shall be free”. He also strongly considers he has been wrongly taken by “your enemy”, Satan through his use of metaphors “imprison me”. Satan has captured him “take me to you” through temptation and sin “unto your enemy”. This religious metaphor jumps out of the poem viewing god in a very positive manner “three-personed God”, in comparison to himself and the violent “enemy”, Satan. He should not have been driven to such immoralities. Donne portrays a vivid use of violent imagery in the very first line of the poem, “Batter my heart, three-personed God; for, you / As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend”. The imagery serves to set the tone for the entire poem. Donne seems to want God to enter back into his heart. It is a common Christian belief that God is within all mankind, in their hearts and souls. Donne expresses to the reader that currently God is outside of his heart, and only knocking peacefully to enter it. This is not relieving Donne, and he requests that God beats his heart to get in; creating this image allows for a powerful religious

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