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The Apparition Analysis



Author: poem of John Donne Type: poem Views: 28

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When by thy scorn, O murd'ress, I am dead,

And that thou think'st thee free

From all solicitation from me,

Then shall my ghost come to thy bed,

And thee, feigned vestal, in worse arms shall see;

Then thy sick taper will begin to wink,

And he, whose thou art then, being tired before,

Will, if thou stir, or pinch to wake him, think

Thou call'st for more,

And in false sleep will from thee shrink,

And then, poor aspen wretch, neglected thou

Bathed in a cold quicksilver sweat wilt lie

A verier ghost than I.

What I will say I will not tell thee now,

Lest that preserve thee; and since my love is spent,

I'd rather thou shouldst painfully repent

Than by my threat'nings rest still innocent.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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| Posted on 2017-03-07 | by a guest


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I did not perceive the ghost as being a literal ghost, but rather a ghost of a speaker, as in a lesser man than he.

| Posted on 2012-09-05 | by a guest


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Line One: When by thy scorn, O murd\'ress, I am dead – Once I am dead because of you
Line Two: And that thou think\'st thee free From all solicitation from me, - and you think you will never see me again.
Line Three: Then shall my ghost come to thy bed, - My ghost will come to haunt you
Line Four: And thee, feign\'d vestal, in worse arms shall see; - You are a woman lying about her virtue. And you shall be far worse off than when you were with me.
Line Five: Then thy sick taper will begin to wink, And he, whose thou art then, being tir\'d before, - Your candle will begin to flicker, signaling that I am there,and the man who will be at your bedside then…
Line Six: Will, if thou stir, or pinch to wake him, think Thou call\'st for more, - If you try to awaken him in any way, he will only assume that you are calling for more sex.
Line Seven: And in false sleep will from thee shrink; - He will pretend to be asleep and shun you
Line Eight: And then, poor aspen wretch, neglected thou Bath\'d in a cold quicksilver sweat wilt lie A verier ghost than I. – And then, you poor shivering woman, covered and sweat and fear lie are more ghostly then even I could be.
Line Nine: What I will say, I will not tell thee now, Lest that preserve thee; and since my love is spent, - I will not tell you now what I am going to tell you then, because it will not frighten you when I return. And because my love for you is already used…
Line Ten: I\'had rather thou shouldst painfully repent, Than by my threat\'nings rest still innocent.- I would rather you pay dearly for your mistakes against me to show that you are truly sorry, rather than you just getting off easy for it.

| Posted on 2011-12-06 | by a guest


.: Poetry Packet Analysis :.

The speaker and the woman were previously married. A solicitation is more business like and usually has to do with finance. The speaker blames the woman for his murder, however it could be a metaphorical death in which her scorn pushed him to despair. Donne uses “solicitation” rather than proposal in order to avoid any matrimonial denotations and to suggest an impersonal, businesslike relationship. The speaker says his love is “spent”, furthering the solicitation tone and assuring the reader that he really does hate this woman. Donne gives the Renaissance cliché of a woman killing her lover by refusing to satisfy his desires a twist by having said lover come back from the dead to take revenge. She will try to wake her new bedmate because she sees a ghost, but he’ll think it’s for more sex and pretend to be asleep. He new lover does not have the qualities of the dead one, according to the speaker. The speaker wants her to painfully repent for cheating on him and breaking his poor little heart.

| Posted on 2008-04-29 | by a guest




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