Naru's Happy Travel
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.1999.10.245
Donne과 Yeats의 연시에 나타난 육체와 영혼의 양립성
한양대
A Compatibility of Body and Soul in Donne’s and Yeats’s Love Poetry
,

Abstract
As love poets, Donne and Yeats have things in common: both, breaking from the conventional views of woman and love, search for the reconciliation and harmony between man and woman, as well as body and soul. They seem to be well aware it is not realistic to see the female image as “a complete beauty and perfect morality,” as is usually supported and reinforced by society and its literary conventions. The social demand for chaste, heavenly woman and its literary representation rob woman of her true, humane beauty and of her true virtue as well; on the other hand, they confine man to a role of chivalric, submissive, but hopeless suitor.
Donne and Yeats believe that the distorted image of woman and her relationship with man hinder true love or communion between them. The two poets try to understand both sexes on the same condition, that is, the condition of human being. And this idea is magnificently realized not only in Donne’s The Songs and Sonnets but also in Yeats’s “Crazy Jane poems” and in some of his pieces in A Woman Young and Old.
As for the matter of body and soul, both poets criticize the binary way of thinking in which human body is nothing but a mean, vulgar exterior while soul is a holy, ideal interior where we should reside for good. Donne and Yeats are wise enough to know that body and soul are interdependent, and that it is, therefore, impossible to exclude or disregard either of them. They agree that the two elements are indispensable for true relationship between man and woman.
To embody this perspective effectively, Donne and Yeats introduce some characteristic personae in their poetry: an unfaithful woman who betrays and dosen’t feel guilty, one who boldly follows her feelings and desire, and one who relishes the pleasure of body and values it as high as, or even higher than, her soul. Through these unconventional female personae, Donne and Yeats are able to disclose the futility of moral, spiritual values that do not have true understanding of human nature. They subvert the false conception that soul is superior to body, and paint a new and true picture of human being: an inevitable dynamism, balance and harmony between body and soul.

 



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