Imagery in “The Broken Heart”
John Donnes’ poem “The Broken Heart” is full of imagery, used to portray his broken heart. Donne uses the imagery so we can get a visual picture of what love means to him. He uses the imagery because it’s necessary to see a picture of the pain he lives with. Donne uses several aspects of imagery, including death to show his grief and Donne also does uses despair to display his pain.
The image of death was used throughout the poem. “…Love so soon decays,” meaning that love so quickly dies. If you cut a flower and do not put it in water it will quickly wither and die. Another image of death would be the plague. A plague is a widespread disease that causes thousands of people to die. The plague is also synonymous with suffering. Donne writes that he has “had the plague a year,” by writing this Donne has been deathly ill for what he thinks is a year. Love, to Donne is something that you think about for a long time so, therefore, it seems that you have loved someone for that long but in reality it is only a short period of time. According to Donne, love is very powerful and causes the widespread destruction to thousands.
Donne also uses the image of despair and depression. In the second stanza, he says “Ah, what a trifle is a heart, if once into love’s hands it come!” In these lines Donne gives us the image of a hand of love and a big heart touching it. Once the heart touches the hand, it begins to shrink because love has devoured it. Also by saying this, Donne realizes that his heart became little and has no value to him. He loved his girl, but she didn’t return that love, so, his heart shrunk and now means nothing to him. Donne also gives us the image of love swallowing his heart whole. His heart is such a trifle that it doesn’t need to be chewed up. Lastly, he compares his heart to a piece of glass (mirror) by...
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