Critical Analysis Of "The Indifferent" By John Donne



"The Indifferent" by John Donne is a relatively simple love poem in
comparison to his other, more complicated works. In this poem, "he
presents a lover who regards constancy as a 'vice' and promiscuity as the
path of virtue and good sense" (Hunt 3). Because of Donne's Christian
background, this poem was obviously meant to be a comical look at values
that were opposite the ones held by Christians. According to Clay Hunt,
"['The Indifferent'] is probably quite an early poem because of the
simplicity and obviousness of its literary methods, its untroubled gaiety,
and its pose of libertinism, which all suggest that Donne wrote [the poem]
when he was a young man about town in Elizabethan ...

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of the poem, and has
therefore been debated among the critics. While most critics believe that
the audience changes from men, to women, then to a single woman, or
something along those lines, Gregory Machacek believes that the audience
remains throughout the poem as "two women who have discovered that they are
both lovers of the speaker and have confronted him concerning his
infidelity" (1). His strongest argument is that when the speaker says, "I
can love her, and her, and you and you," he first points out two random
nearby women for "her, and her", then at the two that he is talking to for
"you and you."
The first stanza begins rather simply. Donne starts every line
with either "I can love" or "Her who." According to Hunt, the tone of the
first stanza goes from "weary and patient entreaty" to "a climax of
irritation at the end" (4) in the lines "I can love her, and her, and you
and you / I can love any, so she be not true." The first eight lines
simply list opposite ...

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Critical Analysis Of "The Indifferent" By John Donne. (2006, May 13). Retrieved April 19, 2021, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Critical-Analysis-Of-Indifferent-John-Donne/45819
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 5/13/2006 01:49:00 AM
Category: Poetry & Poets
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1136
Pages: 5

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