If all of the elements of this lesson plan are employed, students will develop the following powers, skills, and understanding:
Describe the major features of Donne's life and the times he lived in.
Consider the influence of a poet's biography on his poetry. The key influences to understand with Donne include his Catholic faith (and his family's persecution for it), the necessity of writing for and finding wealthy patrons, and the mutual influences of his work as a priest on his poetry and vice versa.
Discuss with some detail the major themes in Donne's work and how he treats them, including death, romantic love, and Christian teachings.