"The Broken Heart" and Varied Imagery

Topics: Love, English-language films, Style Pages: 2 (519 words) Published: February 11, 2013
The Broken Heart, by John Donne, sets a despairing mood about heartbreak and clearly states his adverse opinion about falling in love. It is obvious that the author has been a victim of terrible remorse and through this writing, expresses his feelings about how love is a negative thing. Using varied imagery, Donne portrays this discouraging tone through diction, personification, and metaphors. A melancholy tone is set just through the name of the poem, “Broken Heart”. Donne begins the poem through negative words such as decaying, devouring, and plague to describe the effects of love. These words adequately create unpleasant images of mold taking over food, a lion attacking a gazelle, and a disease killing a village. Not exactly how one would imagine the feelings of love. In the first stanza the idea that “love cannot wane quickly even though it can be sparked quickly” (Gradesaver.com) helps describe how fast one can fall in love and how long one can suffer after heartache. Through personification, Donne explains how fast love is by describing love as a “he”, calling it a monster that “swallows” the heart and as a warlike destroyer that uses a chain of cannons that, metaphorically, take out whole ranks. Both methods happen fast and in a sinister way (lines 14 and 15). Love is also personified as a “tyrant pike” that devours our hearts like small fish, yet another negative image (line 16). Overall in the second stanza, love is described as “a predator ready and willing to devour the defenseless human heart.” (AP Central) The poem becomes more personal as Donne describes how his heart was stolen. “I brought a heart into the room/ but from the room I carried none with me” (Line 19-20) describes how he loved a girl greatly and gave her his all but realizes she didn’t have the same feelings as he. John Donne continues throughout the poem to explain how the heart can only handle the first love and then after that first “hit”, the heart shatters like...
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