Weeping By John Donne Essay Research Paper

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Weeping By John Donne Essay, Research Paper A Valediction: for Weeping by John Donne In John Donne’s “A Valediction: for Weeping,” the speakerconsoles his lover beforeleaving on a sea voyage and begs her not to cry. Crying, the speakertells his lover this poem atthe docks before he boards his ship going abroad. Donne, whopioneered (though never coinedthe term) the “metaphysical conceit” uses a spherical image as thecentral metaphor in his poem.When Donne uses irony, paradox, and hyperbole including the use ofround images such as:coins, globes, and tears he strengthens the spherical conceit. Bycomparing two “seeming”opposites like tears and love as his conceit, Donne uses thespherical image as the centralparadox in “A Valediction: Of Weeping.” Donne opens the

poem with the speaker crying while talking tohis lover before hisdeparture abroad. His first spherical images are in the first stanza, and they are tears and coins: “Let me pour forth My tears before thy face whilst I stay here, For thy face coins them, and thy stamp they bear, And by this mintage they are something worth,” (1-4)Both the coins and his tears have “worth,” literal and figurativevalues respectively. His tears fallfrom his face because he hurts for leaving, something no amount ofcoins can pay to alleviate.Like coins being stamped out of a sheet of metal, his tears arepressed from his eyes. Becausewater reflects her image and tears are made out of water, the stampimage has a double meaningtoo. The tears equal the lover. The mintage mentioned in line fourhas an

expanded meaning. Aset of pressed coins is a mintage as is the set of the speaker’stears, but the impression on the coin(the lover’s face) can also be a mintage. As the beginning of the stanza opens with a circular image, thesecond half of the stanzaincludes even more circular images: “For thus they be Pregnant of thee; Fruits of much grief they are, emblems of more– When a tear falls, that Thou falls which it bore, So thou and I are nothing then, when on a diverse shore.” (5-9)First, the speaker says the tears, because they bear the lover’s face, are pregnant of her (a sick,but round image used for comparison). The fruit and the emblem areround images describingtheir tears, the emblem symbolizes both the literal round image andthe lover’s face (the tearbears her

“emblem” or face). As the tear bearing her image falls,the speaker fears the ending oftheir love if she cries, as the speaker states: “So thou and I arenothing then, when on a diverseshore” (9). In the second stanza, the speaker tries to convince herthat they are still together, evenwhen they are separated, and begs her not to weep. The second stanza opens with a ball image forming out of nothinginto a globe. A workercan take “a round ball . . .and quickly make that, which was nothing,all” (12). The globe andtheir love represent all, because the globe represents all of theentire world, where as, the loveencompasses all of their individual worlds or spheres. They, thelovers, have their own worlds,and like in “The Good Morrow” their two worlds become one, where

thepower of love binds the two hemispheres (in “The Good Morrow”) or globes (in “A Valediction:Of Weeping”). Thespeaker goes on to compare their love to the globe in the rest of thestanza: “So doth each tear Which thee doth wear, A globe, yea world, by that impression grow, Till thy tears mixed with mine do overflow This world; waters sent from thee, my heaven dissolv d so.” (14-18)Both of their tears flow into the same waters, and therefore are one. The speaker’s attitude ishypercritical during this stanza because he begs her not to cry, buthe still weeps as he proves inthe line “Till thy tears mixed with mine do overflow” (16). Byloving each other they becomeone. Donne used a flea to “mingle” the blood of the speaker and hislove in “The Flea,”