John Donne's The Apparition

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  • Topic: For Whom the Bell Tolls, Syphilis, Virginity
  • Pages : 2 (681 words )
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  • Published : April 1, 2008
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In John Donne’s poem, The Apparition explores the emotions of a jilted lover, rejected for someone who, in the eyes of the writer, is obviously inferior. For convenience, I will refer to the "I" of the poem as "he" and the subject as "she". Although many poems have been written about rejection, most of them end with the lover pleading with the loved to accept him again. However, in this poem, that idea has been turned upside down - by the end he is not pleading to be welcomed back into the arms of his beloved, but is in fact gloating - she made a bad decision, and now she has to live with it. In the first line, the speaker says, When by thy scorn, o murderess, I am dead, he is figuratively saying that his ex-lover has killed him with her scorn. In the next three lines, when he says, And that thou thinkst thee free // From all solicitation from me // Then shall my ghost come to thy bed, he is saying that when his ex-lover thinks that he has stopped having feelings for her, that’s when memories of him will come back to her. In the next line, when he says, And thee, feigned vestal, in worse arms shall see, he is saying that she pretends to be vestal, which is a reference to the virgin who was consecrated to the Roman goddess Vesta, meaning that she pretends to be a holy virgin. The second part of the line is saying that she wears a weakened armor, which means that she protected herself emotionally before, but now she is emotionally weak. The next line says, Then thy sick taper will begin to wink, which means that her taper, which means candle, will begin to wink, or flicker. Her taper could be referring to her new love or flame and the speaker could be saying that her new relationship was losing passion. In the next three lines, when the speaker says, And he, whose thou art then, being tired before // Will, if thou stir, or pinch to wake him // think Thou call’st for more, in this part , he clearly demonstrates the inadequacy of her new lover, both sexually and...
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