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The Bait, John Donne

English Project

Jessica Lewis

on 24 March 2011

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Transcript of The Bait, John Donne

The Bait
By John Donne Famous Quote by John Donne:
"No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee."
John Donne, Meditation XVII The poem "The Bait" is basically summing up the relationship between man and woman by saying the man is just a fish, trying to catch the tantalizing bait. (The Woman) The Tone of the poem Goes from Cheerful, Then To A More Cautious Type of feel, Then Ends in darkness or sense of hurt. John Donne's Life
Life Span: 1572 - 1631
Family: Father- Robert Donne who was an ironmonger, And 12 "secret" babies.
Education: Oxford and Cambridge Universities
Career: Poet, essayist, attorney, and minister In the Second Stanza, the poet moves to present a more or less pleasant feeling of the romantic world in fish-form.He uses metaphors of fish all assembled in a "whisp'ring" river "Warm'd by thy eyes" (Line 6) that showed the beauty of a womans sharing, sort of the same attributes as the sun. The poem remains cheerful up until the last couple lines of this stanza, where the poem goes through a slight change. The warmth is exaggerated by comparing it to the sun, and then saying that it is superior to it. The fish, as it's attracted to the bait, create a similar response when drawn to the woman's beauty, and so persues the bait (The woman). John Donne begins the poem with inviting language, to a significant other. Giving the other an oppurtunity to come and live with him as his lover. (Speaking of "Him" as the fish, and the "other" as the bait) The fish (Man) explains that the invite, if put properly, is as a spendid little paradise of "golden sandals, and crystal brooks." (Line 3) The Third stanza shows the reader an image of the bait (The woman) openly enchanting the fish of "that live bath"(Line 9). The men, as fish, swimming from all different directions or "Channels" (line 10) is signifying that men will do whatever it takes, to win the heart of a woman. It's made obvious that the men (or fish), get a greater pleasure from the actual inning of the womans love, rather than the recieving of it. (The fish wanting the bait, but not wanting to be caught). The Last line, "Gladder to catch thee, then thou him", shows a turn in poem, making more of a cautious state, rather than pleasant. The Fourth Stanza of the poem changes in attitude, and the tone moves from being agreeable to disagreeable. It says That the woman (the bait) and the persuit to win her love, can influence in on a man's life (Fish's life) that he may not ever be the same with or without her love. That in conclusion, the woman is a necessity to a man's life, when it comes to their existance, all else lies underneath that. Everything. In the Fifth Stanza, a darkened tone connects itself to the ever-so-perfect women. Donne Talks of letting "others freeze with angling reeds , / and cut their legs with shells and weeds" (Lines 20-21). It is showing that other fish are struggling and likely getting hurt in their persuit for love. It is another example of imagery. In the sixth stanza, there is talk of unpleasantness. The "bedded fish in banks out-wrest" tells of the exhaustion men are experiencing as a result of their unsuccessful pursuits. They were charmed, and unaware that they were played like pieces of a board game. The seventh stanza explains the consequences of a beauty such as the woman's. The Woman "art thine own bate" (Line 26) and has been drawn into her own trap. As a result, the wiser of the fish are those who have stayed clear of all allurement. In Conclusion: The poem "The Bait" by John Donne tells a common story of the infinite persuits of people for one another's hearts. Humans can in some sense be compared to fish, when people lose all sense of direction and swim desperatly in any direction. People are easily manipulated, and thus find themselves stuck in seaweed as a result. This is a Jessica Lewis Production. By naming the Poem "The Bait", John Donne was Signifying the importance of bait, Or in more researched forms, the importance of a woman. Huh? What does it mean?!?
COME live with me, and be my love,
And we will some new pleasures prove
Of golden sands, and crystal brooks,
With silken lines and silver hooks.

There will the river whisp'ring run
Warm'd by thy eyes, more than the sun ;
And there th' enamour'd fish will stay,
Begging themselves they may betray.

When thou wilt swim in that live bath,
Each fish, which every channel hath,
Will amorously to thee swim,
Gladder to catch thee, than thou him.

If thou, to be so seen, be'st loth,
By sun or moon, thou dark'nest both,
And if myself have leave to see,
I need not their light, having thee.

Let others freeze with angling reeds,
And cut their legs with shells and weeds,
Or treacherously poor fish beset,
With strangling snare, or windowy net.

Let coarse bold hands from slimy nest
The bedded fish in banks out-wrest ;
Or curious traitors, sleeve-silk flies,
Bewitch poor fishes' wand'ring eyes.

For thee, thou need'st no such deceit,
For thou thyself art thine own bait :
That fish, that is not catch'd thereby,
Alas ! is wiser far than I.

The Bait. Rhyme Scheme is AABBCCDDEEFF.....Continued..
Full transcript