Similarities Between Edson And John Donne

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An exploration of the intertextual connections between John Donne’s 17th Century metaphysical poetry and Margaret Edson’s metatextual drama, W;t (1995) accentuates their distinctive contexts. Influenced by the social, political and religious upheavals of the 17th Century, Donne’s poetry is a passionate celebration of the transcendental nature of spirituality, through which personal redemption can be achieved in the confrontation with one’s mortality. In her application of Donne’s contextual ideals, Edson subverts the postmodernist dynamic by asserting the impossibility for academic elitism in attaining personal salvation, as represented by the play’s titular semicolon alluding to the witty style of metaphysical poetry and Donne’s contextual preoccupation with the afterlife. Transcending…show more content…
The dichotomy between physicality and spiritual devotion in Donne’s poetry is the basis on which contextual differences are explored. Contextually, the rise of Renaissance humanism and the Reformation challenged traditional conformist outlooks on life. Drawing upon these developments, Donne’s poetry allows him to syllogistically express the superiority of spiritual connection over physicality, as he opposes the egocentric pursuits characteristic of Edson’s context. Detaching himself from heretical Catholic tokens of worship, Donne’s conceit in The Relique of the lovers’ remains becoming worshipped as relics is a satirical allusion to the superstition that pervaded his context, but also heightens the lovers’ spiritual connection from being ‘guests’ of the Earth to becoming worthy of sainthood. This contrasts with
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