Title

The Theme of Suffering as Exemplified in Donne’s “The Crosse” and Akhmatova’s “Crucifixion”

Subject Area

Comparative Literature

Abstract

Both John Donne’s “The Crosse” and Akhmatova’s “Crucifixion” deal with the theme of suffering commonly referred to “as bearing crosses.” The purpose of this research is to show the similarities and differences between these two works in this area of suffering even though both lived centuries apart.

First, a brief introduction including a biography of each author and an introduction of each work and short summaries of the key words cross and crucifixion are presented.

Next, a detailed comparison is drawn between Donne’s figurative representation of human suffering represented by the cross and Akhmatova’s perspective of the human trials that she experienced when her son was imprisoned for the third time during one of Stalin’s purges of Russian society, especially among the intelligentsia. A contrast is then made between the differences in how their personal experiences fueled their motivations to write their respective poems. For Donne, the crosses of life were metaphysical or theological, but for Akhmatova, the anguish was very personal as she spent years outside the prison, silently waiting in line for any word of her son’s fate, believing all the time that he would succumb to the same fate as her third husband.

Also Donne’s work was meant to inspire readers to live their lives on a higher plane, while the objective of Akhmatova’s poem was to never allow the world to forget these torments for two reasons:

to help endure the present suffering and to warn future generations.

Brief Bio Note

Currently Dale Crandall serves as an Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of North Georgia since his arrival in 1987. He graduated from Monterrey Tech (I.T.E.S.M), Monterrey, Mexico, in English and Spanish with his Bachelor’s, and from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Master’s in Linguistics. He taught Spanish and English in Christian schools for four years in Puerto Rico. He studied two years toward a Ph.D. in English Rhetoric at Texas Woman’s University.

Keywords

: Donne, Akhmatova, Russian, Crucifixion, Cross, Crosse, Biblical, Socialism, Tyranny, Suffering

Location

Coastal Georgia Center

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

4-7-2016 9:00 AM

End Date

4-7-2016 9:20 AM

Embargo

11-8-2015

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Apr 7th, 9:00 AM Apr 7th, 9:20 AM

The Theme of Suffering as Exemplified in Donne’s “The Crosse” and Akhmatova’s “Crucifixion”

Coastal Georgia Center

Both John Donne’s “The Crosse” and Akhmatova’s “Crucifixion” deal with the theme of suffering commonly referred to “as bearing crosses.” The purpose of this research is to show the similarities and differences between these two works in this area of suffering even though both lived centuries apart.

First, a brief introduction including a biography of each author and an introduction of each work and short summaries of the key words cross and crucifixion are presented.

Next, a detailed comparison is drawn between Donne’s figurative representation of human suffering represented by the cross and Akhmatova’s perspective of the human trials that she experienced when her son was imprisoned for the third time during one of Stalin’s purges of Russian society, especially among the intelligentsia. A contrast is then made between the differences in how their personal experiences fueled their motivations to write their respective poems. For Donne, the crosses of life were metaphysical or theological, but for Akhmatova, the anguish was very personal as she spent years outside the prison, silently waiting in line for any word of her son’s fate, believing all the time that he would succumb to the same fate as her third husband.

Also Donne’s work was meant to inspire readers to live their lives on a higher plane, while the objective of Akhmatova’s poem was to never allow the world to forget these torments for two reasons:

to help endure the present suffering and to warn future generations.