The Spherical Image as the Central Paradox in Valediction: for Weeping

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The Spherical Image as the Central Paradox in Valediction: for Weeping

In John Donne's "A Valediction: for Weeping," the speaker consoles his lover before leaving on a sea voyage and begs her not to cry. Crying, the speaker tells his lover this poem at the docks before he boards his ship going abroad. Donne uses a spherical image as the central metaphor in his poem. When Donne uses irony, paradox, and hyperbole including the use of round images such as: coins, globes, and tears he strengthens the spherical conceit. By comparing two "seeming" opposites like tears and love as his conceit, Donne uses the spherical image as the central paradox in "A Valediction: Of Weeping."

Donne opens the poem with the speaker …show more content…

The fruit and the emblem are round images describing their tears, the emblem symbolizes both the literal round image and the lover's face (the tear bears her "emblem" or face). As the tear bearing her image falls, the speaker fears the ending of their love if she cries, as the speaker states: "So thou and I are nothing then, when on a diverse shore" (9). In the second stanza, the speaker tries to convince her that they are still together, even when they are separated, and begs her not to weep.

The second stanza opens with a ball image forming out of nothing into a globe. A worker can take "a round ball . . .and quickly make that, which was nothing, all" (12). The globe and their love represent all, because the globe represents all of the entire world, where as, the love encompasses all of their individual worlds or spheres. They, the lovers, have their own worlds, and like in "The Good Morrow" their two worlds become one, where the power of love binds the two hemispheres (in "The Good Morrow") or globes (in "A Valediction:

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