Holy Sonnets Characters

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Speaker

The speaker is the primary voice of the sonnets, and uses the sequence as a means of exploring his life on earth and what will happen to him after he dies. He is a fundamentally troubled persona, agonizing constantly over whether his sins will be absolved and he will receive God's mercy. The speaker strives for an intimate relationship with God, but one that is often characterized by God's dominance and the speaker's relative passivity. As such, the speaker is often torn between his own scope as a human and the much larger truths that exist beyond the bounds of the human mind.

It is implied throughout the sequence that the speaker is approaching death, perhaps facing illness (Donne himself battled many perilous illnesses throughout his lifetime, and often wrote poems to express his thoughts on dying) or old age. He is frequently concerned about what will happen...

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This section contains 1,360 words
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Buy the Holy Sonnets Study Guide
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