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500-600 word essay for involving John Donne and the movie Wit by Margaret Edson

John Donne and Wit by Margaret Edson

Write an essay, approximately 500-600 words, in which you respond to these queries. In this instance, I mean that you can structure your body paragraphs as each one responding to a different query.

In your introduction, consider how this drama demonstrates reading as a creative act. How does Vivian’s story illustrate the different ways literature can play a role in people’s lives?  WRITE A THESIS THAT SUMMARIZES YOUR VIEW.

Use quotes from John Donne and the film in your discussion.


What does the poetry of John Donne mean to Vivian Bearing?—

Ø How does it connect to her reading as a child?

Ø How does it define her personality as an adult?

Ø What does it mean to her after her diagnosis and her struggle with cancer?

Ø Can you connect her love of Donne with the last piece her advisor reads her? (The difference is obvious. What’s the connection?)

Conclusion: Describe a work of art (literary, visual, et al) that “helps” you in some way.

*Try and tie in Sonnet 6 and Sonnet 9 with the paper


NOTE: Vivian quotes “Death, be not proud” and “Valediction: Forbidding Mourning,” which are in our textbook, and two other of Donne’s Holy Sonnets, Sonnet 6, and Sonnet 9, which are not in our textbook. See below.

Here’s Sonnet 6:

This is my play’s last scene; here heavens appoint

My pilgrimage’s last mile; and my race,

Idly, yet quickly run, hath this last pace,

My span’s last inch, my minute’s latest point;

And gluttonous death will instantly unjoint

My body and my soul, and I shall sleep a space;

But my’ever-waking part shall see that face

Whose fear already shakes my every joint.

Then, as my soul to’heaven, her first seat, takes flight,

And earth-born body in the earth shall dwell,

So fall my sins, that all may have their right,

To where they’are bred, and would press me, to hell.

Impute me righteous, thus purg’d of evil,

For thus I leave the world, the flesh, the devil.

Here’s Sonnet 9:

If poysonous mineralls, and if that tree,
Whose fruit threw death on else immortall us,
If lecherous goats, if serpents envious
Cannot be damn’d; Alas, why should I be?
Why should intent or reason, borne in me,
Make sinnes, else equall, in mee more heinous?
And mercy being easie, and glorious
To God; in his sterne wrath, why threatens hee?
But who am I, that dare dispute with thee
O God? Oh! of thine onely worthy blood,
And my tears, make a heavenly Lethean flood,
And drowne in it my sinnes blacke memorie;
That thou remember them, some claime as debt,
I thinke it mercy, if thou wilt forget.





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Wit by Margaret Edson



            The play Wit by Margaret Edson is actually a lively response to John Donne divine poems. There are so many ways that Edson mirrors and parodies John Donne poetry.  Donne also plays a lot with the language analyses especially from the detached perspective although he finally confronts his own death. It is a fact that just like writing reading can be termed as a creative act.  You find that if the reader of a particular piece of work only brings a narrow range of himself to the book then he will only see its narrow range reflecting it….


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