Amirali Mirmohammadi Tehrani Eng-3U1M.Strazzabosco19 January 2018 Tehrani 1

Amirali Mirmohammadi Tehrani Eng-3U1M.Strazzabosco19 January 2018 Tehrani 1 Critique Essay John Donne’s life unfolded during the Medieval and Renaissance eras, as he was born in 1572, and he died in 1631. Donne’s writing was heavily influenced by the artistic movements of his time, which influenced and transformed his poetry throughout his life. In his early life, romantic poems and plays such as Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, inspired John to craft romantic poetry, which came naturally to him during his years of youthful trysts. After these best years of his life, came harsher times as political movements by Henry VIII caused many poets to change what they wrote about and focus on religious scripture, thus creating another artistic movement, followed by poets such as John. Then, near the end of his life, he naturally focused on poems about God and death, such as “death be not proud”. The early life of John Donne was filled with romantic adventure, passion and fun as is typical of a young man in his twenties. Donne focused on writing romantic books, and love poems (Pinka, 2017), such as “The Sun Rising”, which focuses on the theme of romance and young love as is shown by Donne waking up next to his beloved one (GirlFriend). Donne was naturally influenced by popular poets of his time, such as Shakespeare, who wrote love poetry and plays such as “Romeo and Juliet” which was a huge hit at that time. Evidently , Shakespeare influenced poets of that time who wished to follow in his path to acquire similar fame and renown as poets and writers (Carina, 2017). Donne’s middle years were much darker than his youth and were filled with hardship, adversity and death, that obviously made his writings more somber and reflective. Donne’s brother was imprisoned for his Catholic sympathies and he died of illness contracted while in prison. Henry VIII’s Act of Supremacy had an enormous impact on writers of this time as many were persuaded to evade persecution by advocating and openly supporting Henry’s new branch of religion, the Protestant faith (Hobbs, 2015). Lord Egerton for whom Donne worked and the enforced Act of Supremacy influenced Donne’s writing which now reflected his new religious beliefs. Poets were persuaded to write in order to impress the King, as is the case with John’s poem, “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning”, published posthumously. He continued to write some romantic poetry but this came to an end when the love of his life became ill and passed away, which signalled a complete turn to writings which reflected his new religious beliefs (Poetry Foundation, N/A). John Donne’s scripture became even more profound as he grew older. Before his death, he wrote on topics such as the afterlife and death. Some of his poems such as “Death be not proud”reflect his state of mind and what he was mentally experiencing at that time (Pinka, 2017). The theme of “Death be not proud” states simply that death should not be proud, as it is only a way for men to enter eternal life and happiness, which is seen as something very valued( Janovsky, N/A). John was also very much alone before his death, not having his brother, mother, father, wife but only several children. This isolation coupled with his new faith produced much more reflective, dark and sombre poetry which characterized his state of mind as he himself was approaching death and the afterlife (Poetry Foundation, N/A). The sonnets that Donne wrote throughout his life were a way for him to connect to his God and creatively express his inner emotions and turmoil. His writings and poetry transformed across his years as he transitioned from young adulthood marked by love and passion to his middle years filled with death, hardship and pain to his golden years when he became more lonely and more reflective, yearning for death as a release from his isolated and quite sad existence in this world. Donne left a rich legacy for the rest of the world which reflects the artistic trends, social and political movements of his time. Tehrani 2 Tehrani 2 Blood, Flesh and Bones Blood, flesh and bones, are but a mortal sheath These must we shed, in our eternal sleep Wherein no more pain and sorrow we seek As only in happiness we thrive, for all eternity. Our legacy will thrive through our loved ones, Though pain and death will beset me, they canst kill me The gentle light beckons to me from the other side, Where no fear can ever plague me Best memories follow us they will,
T he worst vanish into thin air they must,As in this greater afterlife,
we discover our true humanity as before our sins Tire we never will of this blissful eternal life, it is a noble sacrifice for the sake of legacy. -Amirali T Tehrani 3 Tehrani 4 Dear future reader, Pseudo-autobiographical creative piece This brother of mine, no longer of this world, suffered a torturous existence. Locked he was in a diseased dungeon. Why may that be? He was convicted of Catholic sympathies. His loss and those of many other friends whose lives were brutally snatched merely for their simple beliefs in a divine power have shattered my soul. I am even more broken as I have endured the loss of my father. All my life have I have been a loyal servant of the Catholic faith, although I had once questioned the meaning and the rationale of these very beliefs. The conclusion I have come to is that religion as constructed by man, brings harm to all who may pay homage to it. It is my devout wish that one day we will all coexist in peace despite our different faiths. There is only God at the end of each path so why must man persevere in murder and evil for an end which still leads to one entity who is the Almighty. Although I dwell in a world hostile to my beliefs, all that is of God will continue to exist and his name and power shall live on through my very words and those of all my friends. Judgment Day will bring retribution upon the heads of all who pursue and persecute us. The end of my life draws near as I can feel the malaise coursing through my veins. I have penned many sonnets seeking wisdom and guidance for what lies beyond this mortal shell in which I dwell. I hope in my heart, this life may not go to waste, as if there is no afterlife, all of my contributions have gone to waste. My fervent desire is to find my dear family and friends beyond the darkness of death and I pray that I will endure eternal peace and comfort in the bosom of my beloved God. I beseech you to remember my words and my legacy so that you too may enjoy the consolation and peace which a life devoted to our eternal God offers to all humanity. Remeber my name and legacy.Sincerely yours, John Donne.