W; T and Donne

Explore three connections between W;t and Donne’s poetry and how they shape the meaning of both texts.
“The efforts must be total for the results to be meaningful”. It is only through the total consideration of W;t and Donne’s poetry that complete meaning can be shaped. Despite their contrasting contexts, a multitude of connections bind Edson’s 20thC play W;t to John Donne’s 17thC metaphysical poetry, to mould new meaning and highlight universal qualities.   As Edson brings to life Donne’s intellectual conceits, Donne’s poetry shapes complexity in Edson’s representations. This bond enriches meaning, allowing us to see the texts beyond their context. By considering their connections, meaning is continually shaped and reshaped, enhancing my understanding of the representations within the texts.
As Edson and Donne delve into the concept of death, they present similar surrounding attitudes.   A product of a secular world, W;t presents an irreligious protagonist who struggles to find an acceptance of death. The accumulation of obdurate images, “demanding professor, Uncompromising, Never one to turn from a challenge”, and the repetition of “tough”, portray Vivian to be confident and self-assured. Edson’s frequent reference to Donne’s dramatic monologue “Death Be Not Proud” shapes meaning as we draw parallels between the protagonists.
Similar to Edson, Donne crafts a confident tone through apostrophe, personifying death as he denounces its “might” and “dread”. Monosyllabic words, “thou art not soe”, in conjunction with caesura, emphasise meaning as death is disempowered. Both protagonists are portrayed to believe that “being extremely smart would take care of it”, eminent through their use of wit. Vivian’s “verbal swordplay”, like Donne’s syllogistic argument, seeks to “overthrow” death. While both texts depict vivid representations, they rely on one another to form complex meaning and reshape interpretation.
Despite sharing similar attitudes toward death, Edson and...