Day 3

John Donne: Poems Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    How does Donne weave together natural/scientific concepts of the world and Christian doctrine in "Good Friday 1613"? What effect does it have for you?

    He sets up a world that is geometrical and mechanical, like the traditional cosmology of Donne's time. The language of poles and spheres, with zeniths and antipodes, is the language of Ptolemy's astronomy. At the same time, there is a different "First Mover" here than Aristotle would have recognized. Here, religious devotion sets the world in its mechanical motions, and Nature is lieutenant--lower in rank--to God.

    Have students consider what parts of this mixing of philosophies are new or surprising...

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