Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

English (M.A.)

Department

English

First Advisor

Kathleen Blumreich, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jo Miller, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Benjamin Lockerd, Ph.D.

Abstract

Alchemy, in his Songs and Sonnets, offers John Donne a realm devoted to the paradoxical, one from which he selects material to be artistically altered by his trademark "metaphysical wit." It also provides him - in the intensely-prescribed process of coniunctio - with a paradigm for passion, for the irresistible conjunction and inevitable separation of lovers. Drawing upon the writings of Twentieth-century psychologist, C.G. Jung, whose study of alchemy informed much of his own work, it is possible to uncover both within and among nine diverse selections from the Songs and Sonnets a poetic opus circulatorium. A circular sequence of painful separations and joyous reunions in the poetry seems to track with events in the life of the poet himself. Donne's art renders the refinement of devotion between soul-mates even as it transforms the consciousness of a man very much like John Donne.

Comments

Graduate Dean's Citation for Academic Excellence Awarded to Ann Hayward for Outstanding Masters Thesis in a Major, English: November 2009.

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