The purpose of this paper is to examine, the religious imagery found in John Donne’s poem An Anatomy of the World: the First Anniversary and how it reflects the religious ideology during the time of the poem was written. There are four topics that will be presented, the first topic is the idea of heaven, and John Donne writes the first sentence with heaven in it. In the poem, Donne writes that it would have been better for the sun to die then for Elizabeth Drury. This could possibly be comparing Elizabeth to the atonement of Christ. Meaning, if it wasn’t for Christ we would be in darkness and without salvation.
With out Elizabeth in this world, it would be better for the sun to be gone because without the sun we are lost and cannot survive. The third topic will is the idea of life after death. Donne points out that Elizabeth’s ghost doth walk. The final topic is the idea of original sin, that is written in An anatomy of the world. A Brief history of John Donne life reveals a mixture of religious backgrounds that have a reflection of where his own religious ideas were created. John Donne was born born in Jan. 24, 1572 and died in London, England March 31, 1631, London.
John Donne is know for being from the metaphysical school of poetry, Other authors who are from this period are know for writing use scientific ideas of the time and include them into there poetry. John Donne was raised into the Catholic Church and unfortunately during that time in England, if you were catholic you could be sent to prison. John Donne would eventually study law at a university. John Donne would later be torn between two religions Catholicism and Protestantism this struggle is seen in his poetry as well as in An anatomy of the world.
Donne converted to Anglicanism and ordained in 1615, he became a very powerful preacher. A example of religious ideology, during the seventeenth century is found in John Donne’s poems: “A Hymn to God my God, in my Sickness” and “Holy Sonnet number 10” reflect the religious excitement during the early seventeenth century. A common theme in both of these poems is death and life after death. During the period of time when these poems were written, there were religious believers as well as religious skeptics. Poetry written during this time reflected both of these groups’ views.
Both of these poems written by John Donne reflect religious beliefs from the Roman Catholic Church as well as the Church of England. The religious ideology that is found in both of these poems is death and life after death. There are some doctrinal differences between the Church of England and Roman Catholics. Although they share the common ground of being founded upon faith in Jesus Christ, there are significant differences between the two groups. From general observation, one can see contrasts in everything from the way that their clergymen dress, to the way their services are conducted.
Unlike most Protestant or Christian churches, Catholic masses are conducted in a liturgical fashion, with much emphasis upon symbols, rituals, and ceremony. Despite these differences, John Donne combines both beliefs to write about life after death. In Holy Sonnet number 10, John Donne has a way of lighting the idea of death. He makes it seem to be something not feared but a small step of life that should be seen as a smooth transition. He states that our bodies will die but our souls will be released and set free. Donne says that dying is a place where we will sleep but wake eternally.
These ideas will appeal to the faith of people in both the Roman Catholic Church as well as members of the Church of England. In his poem “A hymn to God my God, in my Sickness,” John Donne gives us the feeling that he is writing as if he is dying. As a preparation of his death, he decides to give a sermon to his own soul. He does this to prepare himself to go to heaven. Donne then compares himself to a map and has people find trouble spots, thus saying that one part of his body is hotter than other parts, referring to trouble spots.
He compares death to resurrection, from east to west. He makes a statement that as the map is one, we are one. In this statement Donne could be referring to the Atonement of Christ. The word Atonement can be broken down as “At-ONE-ment” meaning that we are one with Christ. In the belief that the resurrection is a new beginning after death, religious believers of both faiths can agree. Donne points out different prophets as well as Christ in his poem. He states that because he is human he is both good and bad and that through death, he can be purified.
This has a close comparison to the atonement. Through Christ’s death he atoned for our sins and because of that we truly are purified at our death. Both of these poems show the correlation of ideas between the catholic and protestant beliefs that are with in John Donne. It also shows the religious ideology that was so common in the seventh century. In the very first sentence of an anatomy of the world John Donne writes about heaven. Donne is writing about a 15 year old girl named Elizabeth Drury, who is a daughter of a friend of his. (( Find a book about heaven and seventeenth century)))*** Religious ideology found here*** 1When that rich soul which to her heaven is gone, 2Whom all do celebrate, who know they have one 3(For who is sure he hath a soul, unless 4It see, and judge, and follow worthiness, 5And by deeds praise it? He who doth not this, 6May lodge an inmate soul, but ’tis not his) 7When that queen ended here her progress time, 8And, as t’her standing house, to heaven did climb,