Analysis of John Donne’s “The Sun Rising”
Through the use of language, a new world is constructed in John Donne’s poem “The Sun Rising”. The speaker of the poem creates a new world wherein he and his lover are the centre of the universe. Most of the text is about how the sun is told by the speaker to shine on his perfect world, a fabrication made out of dreams and desires. Therefore, the sun is of great importance in the poem.
John Donne certainly has a fondness for metaphors and he calls the sun: “Busy old fool, unruly sun,/Saucy pedantic wretch,” (1-5) as if the sun is a person, and an annoying one at that. The speaker tells the sun to go bother lesser people than his lover and him: “Call country ants to harvest offices”(8). This metaphor is used to indicate that in his world, his lady and him are above such common people as farm drudges. Through language alone, the reader comes to know that in the speaker’s eyes not even the sun is better than him.
In the second part of the poem, the speaker declares that the world is in his bedroom which reinforces the idea that the real world doesn’t matter : “Whether both th’ Indias of spice and mine/ Be where thou lefts them, or lie here with me/ She's all states, and all princes I/ Nothing else is” (17-18, 21-22). Then he declares himself king of this world: “Ask for those kings whom thou saw’st yesterday,/ And thou shalst hear, All here in one bed lay”. All the kings are in his bed, thus he is the only king there is. The speaker tries to make it seem as though there is no world outside their room: “In that the world’s contracted thus;”(26). To quote Bennet and Royle; “In this sense, it may seem that the poem is categorically separate from the “real” world and from ‘real’ people.” (30). This quote is used for another poem, but it can also be directly applied to “The sun Rising”. The poem is all about the speaker trying to fabricate a new world out of words and therefore separating himself from reality....
Cited: Bennett, Andrew and Boyle, Nicholas. An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. International Book Distribution Limited, 1995. Print.
Donne, John. “The Sun Rising.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Gen. ed.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document