Анализ стихотворения John Donne — страница 2

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love". The word "melt" implies a change in physical state. The bond of the lovers will dissolve quietly like the soul of a dying man separating from his body. "Noise" refers to "tear floods" and "sigh tempests" that the speaker implores his love not to release.         He continues by comparing natural phenomena to a love relationship, the "sigh tempests" relating to the element of air, and the "tear floods" to the element of water. He uses this hyperbole to demand that his lover remain stoic and resist any show of emotion upon his departure.         Next, the element of earth is introduced. Earthquakes are perceived by everyone, and people often interpret them as omens of

misfortune. It is understandable that an earthquake would be looked upon with fear because of its potential to ravage the land; whereas a trepidation affecting a celestial sphere would be viewed in a different light, especially one that is imperceptible and has no apparent meaning for the average person.         In order to understand the meaning of the third quatrain in the poem, it is necessary to consider the Ptolemaic Universe and the symbolism of the sphere. During the Middle Ages and the Elizabethan Age, the circle and sphere were looked upon as perfect shapes. The main influence behind that thinking may have been Greek philosophers such as Aristotle, who believed that since, "The motion of the celestial bodies is not straight and finite, but

circular, invariable and eternal. So they themselves must be eternal, unalterable, divine".         The well-educated Donne, 1572-1631, certainly studied famous Greek thinkers such as Aristotle and Ptolemy, and their views concerning the universe. Donne lived during a time when many people accepted the Ptolemaic theory of the universe, which held that the spherical planets orbited the earth in concentric circles called deferents. 2 Writing this poem in 1611, Donne would most likely be influenced by his previous classical studies, and he chose to use the circle and the sphere to represent a perfect relationship based on reason and harmony.         The "trepidation of the spheres" is another obsolete astronomical theory, used

to support the speaker's point that great changes in the heavens may be imperceptible to the layman. The speaker presents this comparison between the earthquake and the "trepidation of the spheres" to suggest that matters beyond one's control should be approached rationally.         In quatrains four and five, the speaker urges his love to remain stoic by making any change in their relationship as imperceptible to others as the "trepidation of the spheres," and again, he uses terms from astronomy to illustrate his point. The term "sublunary" refers to the surface below the moon. According to the Greek astronomers, this sublunary area, composed of the four elements, was imperfect. The sphere's surface, composed of quinta essenta,

the perfect part, radiates light and heat.         The dull sublunary lovers are imperfect human beings who do not practice mature love. The soul of their love is "sense", so they need physical contact to cement their relationship. However, the speaker suggests that reason can free itself from any connection with a sensory experience. Therefore, the lovers with fully developed souls "Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss", having developed rational souls, the third part of the Aristotelian model for the human soul, consisting of vegetative, sense and rational parts.         In quatrain six, Donne echoes the traditional marriage ceremony in which two become one, so the "two souls" of the lovers are joined

together. He describes separation as a stretching exercise in which the joined soul of the lovers is gold beat to an "airy thinness". According to Pinka, the comparison is "beautiful and pure" but "fragile" since there is "expansion without increase". The "airy thinness" emphasizes the stretching of the lovers' resources, in that the love continues to exist, but its strength is weakened by the circumstances. He urges the lover to look at the separation in a positive light, but he sends out undertones suggesting that he is aware of the fragility of the situation.         The speaker then begins his closing argument, in which he changes his symbol of perfection from the sphere to the circle. One might argue that