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 ...

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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. (2004, May 30). Retrieved October 20, 2021, from
"Critical Analysis Of "The Indifferent" By John Donne.", 30 May. 2004. Web. 20 Oct. 2021. <>
"Critical Analysis Of "The Indifferent" By John Donne." May 30, 2004. Accessed October 20, 2021.
"Critical Analysis Of "The Indifferent" By John Donne." May 30, 2004. Accessed October 20, 2021.
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Added: 5/30/2004 09:49:02 AM
Category: Poetry & Poets
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1136
Pages: 5

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