Home Honours 3rd Year 16th and 17th Century Poetry Batter My Heart (Holy Sonnet 14) Summary and Critical Analysis

Batter My Heart (Holy Sonnet 14) Summary and Critical Analysis

Batter My Heart
Batter My Heart

Batter my Heart is one of the beautiful religious sonnets of Donne written in a Petrarchan verse with the rhyming scheme abbaabba known as octave followed by the rhyme scheme cdccdc known as sestet. The poet here is picturing an afflicted lover of the God who is hurt because he’s deviated from the holy path to the sinful path. He urges God to ravish his body and make him chaste. Batter My Heart Read more…

Batter my heart

The poet prays to God in his threefold capacity because the father, the son, and therefore the Holy Ghost to batter his heart and reshape it. he’s sunk within the tank of sin and the method of persuasion isn’t getting to work on him. God has knocked at him, blown his breath through his bellows and lighted the hearth of his love and mercy to purify him and reshape him. But of these methods ended without attaining the top (Objective). So God should overthrow the poet and bend his force to interrupt, blow and make him new and free from sin.

He is like “a usurped town”, whose duty is to serve God, but he’s occupied by the devil. He labors to let God enter into his body (town), but it seems a vain effort. Viceroy of God, i.e. the rationale which is residing inside the poet captive and he has succumbed to the devil. Yet ‘I love you’ says the poet and he anticipates love reciprocally. But he has engaged with God’s enemy. He wishes, divorce, to untie or break the nuptial knot and he requests God to require him with him, imprison him and never-never shall let him free. He would be purified if God ravishes him.

The poem may be a plea for God to enter and take over the poet’s life, thus saving him from the facility of Satan. It develops through three main images. the primary is that of a potter or craftsman repairing a damaged vessel and has behind it the thought of God because of the creator. subsequent two images both explain Donne’s sinful nature by comparing him to the victim of a violent assault: first in military terms (he is sort of a town, which has been briefly captured and ruled by the enemy), then in sexual terms (he is sort of a woman compelled to marry against her will). In each case Donne suggests that God must act during a similarly violent manner to save lots of him, by retaking the town, or by ravishing the lady, and thus canceling the incorrect marriage.

The literalness with which these images of assault are developed is undoubtedly dramatic but perhaps leaves the fashionable reader feeling uncomfortable. the thought that the Christian Church is often seen because the Bride of Christ comes from the Bible, but Donne’s image makes Christ a ravisher, not just a husband. it’s as if Donne feels that a picture which is robust enough for other men and ladies isn’t powerful enough for him: others are often wooed into salvation, but Donne must be taken by force. Batter My Heart Read more…
Batter my heart
The paradox which drives the poem on is, however, a profound one. On the one hand, Donne wishes to surrender himself entirely to God; on the opposite, he must feel that the self-claimed by God remains the unique Donne. The poem is both a complete surrender to an all-powerful God and — through its extraordinary verbal energy, as within the very first line — an assertion of Donne’s personality. an equivalent paradox is found during a later poem, ‘A Hymne to God the Father’.

After the death of his wife in 1617 Donne felt more and more under the shadow of a terrible spiritual gloom. As his life drew near its close, Donne devoted his talent to carve religious sonnets. Batter my Heart is one among the products of this era of his life. Donne had put the planet and therefore the sensuous life completely behind him and was probing with fierce anxiety for the proper relationship with the eternal. The poet is aware together with his adulterated life and also with God’s infinite greatness. he’s aware of his sinful nature, and he conveys his feelings during a language charged with sentimentality. The use of metaphor is extensive. He compares God with a thinker and himself with a pot. He compares his soul with the town. This town, he confesses is inhabited by devils and he can’t be redeemed with ordinary mending so God should shatter him completely and re-shape him.

Donne’s religion and his magnificent sermons reached astounding heights of subtlety and intensity. The searching of the soul and therefore the horrified fascination with which he contemplated and realized his awful sin in “Batter my Heart” with amazing sincerity, intensity, and earnestness are, in fact, noteworthy within the poem. The language has an equivalent intensity with mood and knowledge and Donne’s grand sort of expressing noble thought during this poem deserves admiration.

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