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Re-examining Donne's "masculine persuasive force" Submission, power, and Christian masculinity in the poetry of John Donne

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Description: This thesis will redefine traditional understandings of power dynamics in John Donne's poetry, examining how submission and passivity achieve power. Its goal is to make two interventions into the study of Donne's poetry. The first involves revising the current practice of linking "Jack Donne" and "Dr. Donne" by reading his romantic poetry as a model for his religious poetry. Instead, I will argue that both types of poetry establish a fundamentally Christian understanding of power. The second intervention will engage the notion that Donne is a figure for modern heterosexual masculinity; instead, I will argue that the version of masculine power explored in his poetry is neither heterosexual nor modern, but rather Christian and early modern. After theorizing the Christian roots of this masculine power, which is gained through enacting submission, I will demonstrate how Donne engages this model in the Holy Sonnets and the Songs and Sonets.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work