Paper: An Introduction to the Life of John Donne

John Donnes age was an age of transition, standing midway between the age of Shakespeare and Jacobean age. In this age, classic literature was studied minutely from a new angle. The study of medieval literature developed the minds of the readers. Medieval beliefs held their grounds both in Donne and his contemporaries. In matter of religion, the abuses and weaknesses of the catholic religion were laid bare. Church of England came into being. John Donne also felt within himself the conflict of faith. Donne embraced the established church of England by 1598. In 1615, he became so confirmed Anglican. It was an age of psychology, of biography and of self-analysis at all social levels, as the works of John Donne, Robert Burton show. It was also an age of scientific materialism as the works of Bacon and Newton show. The discovery of physical world was another aspect of this age. John Donne was intensely interested in the extension of the limits and the knowledge of the physical world. His comparisons, references, and allusions to different lands and maps of new regions show that he was impressed by the wonder and the expanding horizons of the world, he lived in. The basic feature of the age was the presence of a tension between the old and new. Habit of reading was increasing gradually in this period. Every great writer is both a creator and creature of the age. Donne reflects in his poetry the conflict of the age. He also gives a new direction to the literary activities of his age. He in a sense founded the metaphysical lyric which was practiced by a scare of writers. He set up a new tradition in versification. By and large, John Donne must be regarded as an original poet, a poet who gave much more than what he borrowed from his age. source : http://www.classic-enotes.com/poetry/john-donne/john-donne%E2%80%99s-age-1572-1631/ ...