Holy Sonnets - Sonnets 17-19 Summary & Analysis

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Summary

Sonnet 17 opens with a reference to an unnamed woman who, the speaker announces, has died. Because she has now ascended to heaven, the speaker proclaims, his only care is getting there himself. However, he expresses the paradox of setting his mind to "heavenly things" (4), explaining that the closer he comes to God, the more "thirsty" he ultimately becomes to be with him eternally (8). The speaker then shifts into another related paradox by noting that the closer he moves toward God, the more he fears that earthly concerns—notably, the "flesh" (14)—will infiltrate and steer him toward the wrong course.

Sonnet 18 is addressed to Christ. The speaker opens with a request to "Show me, dear Christ, thy spouse" (1), asking the figure of Christ to reveal to the speaker who his bride is. The speaker then offers up a number of possible answers to the...

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This section contains 948 words
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