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Study Questions

A Valediction Forbidding Mourning Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
  1. What is "metaphysical" about this poem? What parts of the poem lead you to your answer?
  2. What imaginative places does Donne lead us to through his metaphors?
  3. Once you unravel the logic of all these metaphors, which one is most interesting to you? Why?
  4. In Donne's opinion, what makes other couples lesser lovers? What parts of the poem tell you that?
  5. As Donne explains it, what's the difference between an earthquake and the movements of the celestial bodies, and what does that have to do with love?
  6. In what way does Donne flatter his wife by comparing her to mathematical instruments?
  7. The poem makes a lot of arguments—list all the reasons Donne gives why he and his wife should not mourn. Do they seem believable to you? Why or why not?
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