Donne and Wit

578 Words3 Pages
Contrast between two texts of different contexts throws into sharp relief the concerns of both, illustrating how these concerns are fixed in the human psyche, having survived the ages. Two of the greatest quandaries embedded in the human condition are the questions of self- discovery and how to face one’s own inevitable death. Margaret Edson’s W;t and John Donne’s poetry both answer these questions by advocating that one must allow oneself to be guided by one’s relationships. That the two texts are separated by four centuries of human history allows comparison of their arguments to illuminate and enhance audience understanding of the concerns. There is an intrinsic human need to discover oneself, to define a sense of identity, and the journey to do so is g uided by one’s relationships. Donne’s poetry and Edson’s W;t are both like and unlike in this respect. Both agree that relationships are necessary for self-discovery, particularly by relinquishing hubris for humility. However, it is their disparity in context that causes them to advocate differing types of relationships. Donne, living in the pious Jacobean era, and hiionships with others. She realises her hubris at being the ‘senior scholar’ blinded her to the values of Donne’s poetry as she reduced it to mere words in the same way that her doctors metaphorically objectified her as a ‘specimen jar.’ It is Vivian’s relationship with Susie that teaches her to relinquish her pride and in humility find a path towards ally purports that it is one’s religious relationships that guide them towards self-discovery. In At round earth’s imagin’d corners , he utilises the Petrarchan sonnet form, with the octet conveying his dilemma and the sestet providing a solution. In the octet he makes Biblical allusions to the Day of Judgement, wherein those who have died from are to ‘arise from death’ and be judged.
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