top-rated free essay

"The Broken Heart" and Varied Imagery

By aadehn4 Feb 11, 2013 519 Words
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” ( 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 glass. Broken glass is nearly impossible to put back together, so through Donne’s negative views, the broken pieces of the heart will “not unite” (line 28). Love is seen as something that tares the heart apart. He describes the heart as being “rags”, meaning it is not completely destroyed; there are pieces that still remain, like the broken glass. The word rags makes one imagine a torn up towel; it can still do its job of drying something, but it may not be as affective. The torn heart, though in rags, is still able to “like, wish, and adore”, but can never love the same again. To create the negative and unpleasant imagery throughout The Broken Heart, John Donne uses diction, such as decaying and plaque, personification, calling love a monster that devours the heart, and lastly metaphors such as the heart being shattered glass after the first hit of love. With the use of varied imagery, Donne creates a despairing mood that clearly portrays his negative views on love and the effects it has on the heart.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • The Broken Heart

    ...  The Broken Heart, by John Donne, is a poem that illustrates imagery of how love destroys the heart.      In the first stanza, it states “He is stark mad, whoever says, (1) that he hath been in love an hour.” (2) The author is giving an exploration that a man is out his mind or insane if he feels that love last only an hour. For in...

    Read More
  • The Broken Heart Analysis

    ...“The Broken Heart” Analysis In John Donne’s poem, “The Broken Heart”, Donne shows the predacious nature of love and the true faintness of the heart through the use of metaphors. This poem sets a mood of despair and sorrow; moods that reveal the regret of love. It opens the reader’s eyes to realize just how vulnerable the heart...

    Read More
  • Broken Heart Analysis

    ..."The Broken Heart" written by John Donne sets a mood that reveals the regrets of love. It allows you to see how vulnerable the heart can be in dealing with love. It's theme is the pradatory nature of love and the powerlessness of the heart once it has been devoured by love. He makes love seem as if its an evil thing that can overtake you without...

    Read More
  • how to repair a broken heart

    ...Losing someone we love — whether by death or divorce, sudden or over time — is an assault on every part of our body and soul. It's a period of actual crisis, even if we try to tough it out and act as if everything is under control. Unfortunately, no easy fix is available for a broken heart. But these eight steps can help you start enjoyin...

    Read More
  • Imagery In The Tell Tale Heart

    ... The Tell-Tale Heart Have you ever fear somebody so much that you have to kill him?Have you ever been feeling down? The Tell Tale Heart is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. It is told by a narrator who endeavors to convince the reader of his sanity, while describing a murder he committed. The victim was an old man with a filmy "vulture-e...

    Read More
  • The Broken Heart by John Donne

    ...The Broken Heart In “The Broken Heart” by John Donne, we see his angry attitude towards the nature of love. Donne uses the imagery of broken glass, he wrote it in first person point of view, and used verbal irony to show us his angry attitude toward the nature of love. The imagery of broken glass that Donne wrote “Those pieces still, ...

    Read More
  • Broken Heart

    ...*A BROKEN HEART is when you actually refuse to get out of bed in the morning because you are afraid of the reality that awaits you. *A BROKEN HEART is when you think about the individual that broke your heart constantly. You reminisce the "Good Times" almost as if the "Bad Times" never existed. *A BROKEN HEART is when you are crying yo...

    Read More
  • Broken Heart Poem by John Donne

    ...The broken heart is a love poem .In this poem John Donne has a broken heart and he embodies his suffering in a various dramatic ways. As he wants to show us that the grief in love is much more than any other kinds of griefs in life. In the title of the poem John Donne depicts his heart as somethig material such as a broken mirror or glass...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.