Literary Devices In The Broken Heart By John Donne

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The first time reading through a poem, literary devices such as symbolism, figurative language, hyperboles or oxymorons can throw a reader off. However, after the reader analyzes and truly understands the poem, these devices can add more depth and understanding, allowing the readers to see deeper inside the poet’s mind. In his poem, ‘The Broken Heart’, John Donne incorporates specific devices to portray that love is an all-consuming, vicious monster that can ruin you. In ‘The Broken Heart’, John Donne’s descriptive vocabulary, explaining the way the speaker’s heart was shattered beyond repair, forces the reader to imagine his or her heart as splintered or crushed as Donne’s. In other words, Donne uses rich imagery to add tangibility to his piece and aide the reader in accurately picturing what’s being discussed. Using imagery in a poem furthers the idea and message of the piece and definitely proves effective in ‘The Broken Heart’. In an attempt to display how broken the narrator’s heart is, Donne states: “And now, as broken glasses show / A hundred lesser faces, so” (Donne 29-30). When reading that, many people relate the image in their mind to one that could be seen in a Hall of Mirrors when thousands of warped faces stare back, which leaves one question in the reader’s minds: What could metaphorically break a heart so violently that it reflects the same image as seen in a Hall of Mirrors? John Donne’s specialty may be imagery, but imagery can easily be paired with

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