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A Valediction: Forbidden Mourning Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 25 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Valediction.
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Death

Death, a theme not uncommon to Donne's writing, is a significant theme in "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning." In the poem's opening stanza, Donne makes mention of "virtuous men pass[ing] mildly away." He uses this notion of death as a metaphor for his impending departure on a journey that will take him away from his wife for an extended period of time.

Religious Faith

Piety is almost always present in the poetry of Donne, and "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" is no exception. In likening his departure to the deaths of "virtuous men," he is making reference to the fact that pious men who are secure in their faith do not fear death. Rather, they embrace it, because they know that eternal life awaits them, and they will be welcomed by the arm of their Lord. The "sad friends" that surround these dying men are upset at their loss...

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This section contains 436 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Valediction: Forbidden Mourning Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
A Valediction: Forbidden Mourning from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.