Holy Sonnet 14, "Batter My Heart", is Donne's work in microcosm. It shows the reader Donne's unusual metaphors and stark contradictions, his passionate (and angry!) way of talking to God, and ultimately, his contradictory feelings in his struggle with faith. Go through this sonnet and list out first the main verbs, then the main metaphors that Donne uses in these 14 lines. What is the ultimate effect of these contradictory words? What does it say about Donne's relationship with his personal God?
Students should practice one style of close reading with this question: looking at the word level and the idea level all at once. For words that might be less...
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