Essay on Interpretation of A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

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Interpretation of A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning Although that it may seem that the meaning of A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning could be applied to any couple awaiting separation, according to Izaak Walton, a seventeenth-century biographer, John Donne wrote his poem for his wife, Anne Donne, right before his departure for France in 1611 (Damrosch 238). However, even though the poem is not written to an audience, many of us can learn from what Donne is trying to convey to his wife. In the poem, Donne pleads with his lady to accept his departure. He defines and celebrates a love that transcends the physical realm and expresses that their love can therefore survive and even grow through their…show more content…
The speaker thinks that it would be a "profanation" (line 7) to reveal the sacred love he shares with his lady. It would be similar to priests revealing the mysteries of their faith to "the laity" (line 8), that is, to ordinary people. If they would publicly display their grief upon their separation he feels it would therefore defile the sacred love of him and his wife to be no better than the love of ordinary people. The third stanza introduces another category of surprising comparative images, referring to the motions or changes of the earth and spheres. Earthquakes are perceived by almost everyone as often as a sign of misfortune. It is understandable that many fear earthquakes because of the damage they may cause to property and land; wheras a "trepidation of the spheres" would be viewed by many ,because they don't know what it is, to have no apparent meaning. However, in order to understand the true meaning of this third quatrain of the poem, it is necessary to consider the Ptolemaic Universe and the symbolism Donne used by the sphere. Donne was a very well-educated man who studied famous thinkers such as Aristotle and Ptolemy, and their views of the universe. During the Middle Ages and the Elizabethan Age, philosophers views of the circle and sphere were looked upon by many as perfect shapes. The main influence behind this thinking may

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