John Donne: the Sun Rising

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In John Donne’s “The Sun Rising,” the use of apostrophe helps strengthen the premise of the poem, that love is the strongest, most blinding ideal. When one examines the poem on a literal level, taking each line at face value, the speaker of the poem makes commentaries on the sun, love, and various other subjects. When one judges the poem as a whole, however, and considers the parts with respect to each other and not as independent commentaries, one sees that the true message being conveyed is not as severe or critical as it may appear, but rather that the criticisms and commentaries offered are vehicles to make his broader point. The speaker’s use of apostrophe, along with what he says in the poem, demonstrates his position, that love is the most powerful force, even more powerful that the sun.

Throughout the poem, the speaker ridicules the sun and the authority, actually just an intrusion according to the speaker, it feels it has, all the time justifying the ridicule with the awesomeness of love. Though in stanza one the speaker admits that the sun does dictate some things of the earth and has certain authority, such as “[chiding] late school boys and sour prentices” (6) and telling farmers and courtiers when to act, he implies that the sun has no power over love, as when he says that love is eternally the same, unaffected by time or seasons (that which the sun controls) (9-10). In stanza two, the speaker asks, “Thy beams, so reverend and strong / Why shouldst thou think?” (11-12). The speaker explains that he can blot out the supposed brilliance of the sun by winking, but that the beauty of his lover is blinding, unless “…both th’ Indias of spice and mine / Be where thou leftst them [the sun’s eyes]” (17-18). The speaker is not trying to say that love is more powerful than the sun regarding its ability to affect people; rather, he is merely pointing out that the sun has no power over love, however much else it may control. Towards the end of the poem, the...
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