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Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God

Brooke Paris Ap Lit
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brooke paris

on 20 March 2012

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Transcript of Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God

Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God Speaker Audience Occasion Setting Structure Paraphrase Purpose Central Idea/Theme Better my Heart, Three-Personed God is about a man who is desperately pleading with his God to change him. The speaker feels imprisoned by his own sinful nature and describes himself as being married to Satan. The speaker has a truly passionate longing to be faithful to his God, yet feels rendered hopeless by his inability to achieve this. The speaker cries to God asking for his help , The purpose of this poem is to offer a plea to God asking him to force the speaker to be faithful, for that is what he truly desires Only by God's force and will can the speaker ever truly remain faithful without falling into the traps of the enemy and sin. Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to'another due,
Labor to'admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly'I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me,'untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you'enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me. Rhyme Scheme ABBAABBACDDCEE Loose Iambic Pentameter Petrarchan Sonnet
14 Lines
3 Quatrians
Rhyming Couplet Turn Line 9: "Yet, Dearly i love you, and would be loved fain".

The Metaphysical Conciet switches from the speaker as a "fortress" to a much more personal, less abtract metaphor of a lover who is engaged to someone else. The speaker is a man or woman [for purposes of this presentation we will use the general male form (he)] who seeks to be faithful to God but finds himself unable to do so without God's force. Normally there is an acceptable manner in which to address God, typically this is done with respect and humility. However, the speaker of this poem refuses to use said approach. The speaker begins the poem with a direct command to God (Batter My Heart-Line 1). Some Christians would say that commanding God to do something is wrong and that one should ask for it nicely, with respect and honor. Throughout the entire poem the speaker seems to believe that he deserves God's attention, which has apparently been lacking. The speaker also blames God for their broken relationship. Instead of confessing to abandoing God in favor of the enemy, the speaker blames it all on "reason", a personified mental faculty given by God. Despite the speaker's demanding tone and his lack of owning up to his own behavior, the speaker of this poem doesn't come off as a complete arrogant jerk. Instead, the reader gains sympathy for him, viewing him as a guy who has tried for a long time to get God's attention with no success. This is why the speaker wants God to treat him so violently- he has gone so long without God's attention that he craves it with great intensity. In line 6 (Oh, but to no end) the speaker appears pathetic and his other commands begin to appear more as passionate begging than telling God what to do. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit "Three-Personed God" Line 1 First Qautrain, Lines 1-4 Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new. Diction: Imagery: Tone: Hyperbole: Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new. Metonymy: Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new. Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new. Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new. Battering Ram Extremely powerful, effective & violent
weapon in Donne's day. Must be operated by more than one person. Allows the reader to imagine a crew of people carrying a battering ram attempting to destroy a man's heart. The term "Batter" immediately sets
a violent tone to the poem. The speaker is not asking God to literally
Batter, or destroy his human heart, he is seeking
spiritual destruction which will then lead to renewal. "Three-Personed God" is a remaning for God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This line attributes qualities and actions to God, whom the speaker is addressing.
Describes what God is doing. Saying "Batter My Heart" sets a demanding tone by commanding God to do something. This line reveals what the speaker is seeking
from God, he wishes to rise and stand before
him and feels that God needs to overthrow
him in order to do this. Alliteration: "Break, Blow, Burn" Break, blow and burn parrallel knock, breathe, and shine in line 2. These terms allude to the three persons of the trinity. "Break" and "Knock" refer to God the Son who has “broken sin” and “Knocks at the door of the heart”. The terms “Blow” and “breathe” allude to God the Father, as it was in this manner that God created humans in Genesis Chapter 1. Finally, the terms “Burn” and “Shine” allude to the Holy Spirit whose “fire burns” and whose “light shines”. Paradox: Donne’s speaker wishes to “be made new” through the actions of “battering, breaking, blowing and burning”. This presents an extreme paradox because these actions are known to destroy one, yet the speaker is seeking them to rebuild. Ap Lit
Block 4
March 20, 2012 John Donne Brooke Paris A man pleading to God.
It could be after he has committed a sin that he regrets. Or it could also be during a hard time in his life where the speaker feels that God does not here his pleas. No physical setting. This poem takes
place in the speakers heart and mind. Holy Sonnet XIV Second Qautrain, Lines 5-8 I, like an usurp'd town to'another due,
Labor to'admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue. I, like an usurp'd town to'another due,
Labor to'admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue. I, like an usurp'd town to'another due,
Labor to'admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue. I, like an usurp'd town to'another due,
Labor to'admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue. Diction: Diction: Simile: Imagery: The speaker uses a simile to compare
himself to a “usurped town”. Usurped town a town that has been taken by force.

This reveals that the speaker feels that his spirituality and mental state have been taken from him by force and he know feels captured. Due Belonging To Donne’s use of the word due reveals that the speaker feels that he now belongs to the capturer of his spirituality, the town. This line provides the reader with an image of a town that has been captured under siege and the reader can now empathize with the speaker and his current predicament. Shift in Tone: By saying “oh, to no end” the speakers demanding tone shifts to one of a more passionate begging and this evokes sympathy from the reader. A viceroy substitute for the King, and is referring to God’s reason making “viceroy” a metonymy or renaming. Metonymy: By this comparison the speaker views himself as a town on which God has bestowed reason, this reason is what should defend the speaker. In scanning the poem, by stressing the conjunction “or” in this line the speaker is implying that his reason is untrue, or a traitor, which strengthens the speakers lament that his reason has been captured. Diction/Structure By the speaker comparing himself to a captured town whose reason has too been captured and betrayed him and now belongs to another the speaker contributes to the central idea of the poem by emphasizing the necessity of God’s force and assistance in the matter of spiritual renewal. Third Qautrain, Lines 9-12 Yet dearly'I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me,'untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I, Yet dearly'I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me,'untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I, Yet dearly'I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me,'untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I, Yet dearly'I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me,'untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I, Turn: The turn is signaled by the term “yet” in the beginning of line 9 and then reveals that despite the fact that the speaker feels as if his strives at spiritual renewal have been in vain he still dearly loves the God his heart is after and would gladly be loved in return. Metaphor: The speaker is comparing himself to the bridegroom to the enemy of God, the enemy referring back to “Reason” (line 7) or even Satan. The speaker concludes that it is because of this marriage to the enemy of God that he cannot love and be loved by God in the way that he desires. Allusion: In the Garden of Eden God was forced to break the knot between himself and Adam and Eve because they chose to be betrothed to God’s enemy instead. This implication reveals that the speaker is comparing himself to Adam and Eve and asking God to divorce him from Satan or he will be forced to break the knot between them as well. This verse begins to propose the solution of the poem by asking God to "Imprison" the speaker. The third quatrain portrays a critical extended metaphor of the speaker being the bridegroom of God’s enemy and then begging God to divorce him from said enemy unless God will be forced to break the knot, or bond, between the speaker and himself as well. Sestet, Lines 13-14 Except you'enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me. Diction: “enthrall” enslave
“ravish” can be taken in different ways
one meaning being to take away by force
another being to rape
either meaning carries a negative connotation Paradox: In this couplet the speaker is essentially telling God that unless he enslaves the speaker he shall never be free, and unless he rapes the speaker he shall never be chaste. Critics, however, have not taken this request in a sacrilegious or impure way. According to Ettari’s critique of this poem “in the attempt to gain spiritual "newness," Donne goes beyond even the paradoxical language mentioned previously. These final lines indicate both the intensity of the speaker's desire to be closer to God and his frustration with God“. The speaker here presents such an intense and immediate desire for God’s attention and help that he has likened his situation to a sexual desire that portrays great intensity and force, the very thing he desires from God The speaker concludes that if God does not capture him and force his will upon him then the he will never be able to remain truly faithful to God, revealing the theme that one needs God’s assistance and will in order to rise above oneself and prove faithful to God. The adaptation of sound to sense is significant in this work because the poem sounds and reads as if it is a prayer more than merely a literary piece.

This sound to sense adaptation stirs emotion in the reader and makes it so that any Christian can relate to the longing for God’s affection and assistance throughout the struggles of life. Sound to Sense John Donne utilizes a relatable speaker, good structure, diction, tone, alliteration, hyperbole, metaphors, paradox, metonymy, imagery, allusion and symbolism to reveal his theme that in order to prove always faithful to one’s God one is desperately in need of God’s assistance and it becomes necessary to cry out to God in order to achieve this. Holy Sonnet XIV Thesis: In Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God John Donne utilizes structure, diction, tone and a number of literary devies to reveal the theme that one needs God's assistance and will in order to rise above oneself and prove faithful to God. The history and structure of this
poem are significant because
sonnets were almost always about
a speakers love for a woman. Donne
addresses his love sonnet to God instead
of a woman and by this approach there
is genuine affection for God shown. In Brief, the speaker is a desperate man
that is passionately seeking the attention
and affection of God.
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