The Sun Rising Critical Analysis

The Sun Rising Analysis and Summary

  • December 5, 2021
  • Total Views: 598
  • Total Likes: 2
Evaluate William Shakespeare As A S...
Evaluate William Shakespeare As A Sonneteer

“The Sun Rising” analysis shows that it is famous love poem of John Donne from “Songs and Sonnets”. In fact, due to this beautiful poem, John Donne gained fame in the world of literature. The poem is entirely unexpected and unconventional, due to which readers have experienced a new kind of poetic wit. Many poets and critics have done analysis of “The Sun Rising” but none of them criticized it. Every poet, writer and critic appreciated the imagery, background, setting and style of the poem. One of the main reasons due to which this poem is famous is its start. It opens with abrupt colloquial dialogue. Moreover, it shocks the readers from its initial lines. Donne is famous for being unromantic, highly realistic and making witty remarks.

Click here to read the whole poem:

Analysis of “The Sun Rising” as Unconventional Poem:

This poem is answer to those critics who criticize Donne for his cynical poetry. For instance, C.S. Lewis says that Donne’s love-poetry is nothing but a note of contempt for woman. “The Sun Rising” Analysis reveals that the poet is against romanticism. He does not glorify the beauty of women. Donne neither appreciates prettiness of women nor does he adore any natural object; he only presents his emotions. Thus, Donne’s attitude is entirely unconventional so as this poem. Greeks used to worship sun; Keats finds romanticism in rising sun; Pope seeks pleasure in sunrays but Donne does not feel any good thing in it. Instead of praising the moment of sun rising, Donne scolds it. He does not like morning rays of sun. Rather, he says that these rays disturb him.

Analysis of “The Sun Rising”-Stanza I:

Analysis of first stanza of “The Sun Rising” reveals the setting, status and mood of poet. The poet was making love with his beloved in bedroom but sunrays have disturbed him while peeping through the windows. Setting of the poem is clear to the readers. It is the time of morning and sunrise. Windows of the bedroom are towards east sides. Due to the unkind (the poet thinks it unkind) behavior of the sun, he becomes angry. He deals the sun with iron hands and scolds it. He directly addresses it. Thus, this poem is a kind of dialogue between the sun and poet, whereas beloved of the poet is a silent listener. The poet has not given tongue to the sun; therefore, he is also a silent listener. Anyhow, the poet does not feel sunrays pleasant. Sun has ruined the mood of poet; therefore, he tells it off.

Importance of love:

The poet starts his speech while describing the importance of love. He says that love is above all worship. Lovers are not bound to time. They do not need any season to make love. It is the sun, who should watch for lovers not the vice versa; if lovers are making love, the sun should not disturb them. Donne has something more to say. In sheer anger, he calls sun a “wretch”. He says that instead of interrupting them, the sun should go and reproach the boys who are late for school. If not, the sun should go to the courtiers and wake them up so that they would go for haunting with kings. The sun may disturb the busy farmers, who have a lot of work to do. In short, the poet wants to say that the sun may disturb anyone but not the lovers.

Analysis of “The Sun Rising” -Stanza II:

This stanza reveals pride of the poet. He considers his beloved the most precious thing in the world; precious then sun and its rays. The sun is not respectable in the eyes of John Donne. The poet asks question from the sun.

Thy beams, so reverend, and strong;

Why shouldst though thinkek?

What makes the sun arrogant? why is he respected?. If it is because of his “beams” then the poet can close his eyes and obliterate his rays but he does not want to do so. He has fallen in love with his beloved; therefore, she has become his life. He does not want to miss an opportunity of gazing his beloved; not even for a moment.

In next lines of this stanza, John Donne considers himself a King and his beloved a Queen. He asks the sun whether he wants to see kings of the whole world. If yes, they can be found in his bed, as he is the representative of kings of the whole world. He also makes reference of “India’s spice and Myne” and put his beloved in juxtaposition to them. His beloved is spice and goldmine for him. If the sun wants to see, he (it) can watch “spice and Myne” in his beloved.

Analysis of “The Sun Rising”-Stanza III:

John Donne compares himself to the kings of world and comes to the conclusion that he is superior to them. To kings, it is only money and power that matters but John Donne has the greatest power; he has love and a beloved; therefore, he is the richest person on the earth. Glory of kings and princes is just ridiculous and their “honor’s mimique”. The poet also points out weaknesses of the sun. It is alone and has no beloved. Moreover, it does not have the feelings of love; it also does not have emotions. Sun, thus, is also inferior to him.

Duty of the sun is to give light to the world, says Donne but the sun has grown old now. The poet, his beloved and their room is the whole world; therefore, the sun can fulfill his duty by giving light only to their room. After doing so, the sun can do rest as he needs it in this age; “thine age askes ease”. As mentioned above, bedroom of the poet is the whole world. The sun should revolve around the bedroom of poet. The poet is saying so, because it was believed that the sun revolved around the earth. Bedroom of the poet is whole earth. The poet ends the poem while expressing his world of love in following lines:

“This bed thy center is, these walls, they spheare.”

Theme and Style Analysis of “The Sun Rising”:

Love is the prominent theme of this poem. After careful analysis of each and everything, Donne, in “The Sun Rising” has also expressed his emotions; there are different moods in the poem. In start, the poet is angry; in the middle, he becomes happy due to the wealth of love. At the end, he feels proud on his wealth. Thus, in this poem, there is development in thoughts. Images and objects are: sun, bedroom, curtains, windows, mines, kings etc. Donne has also created some landscape images in the poem. Style of the poem is colloquial. If deep analysis of “The Sun Rising” is done, then it seems that bouncing rhythm gives this poem a kind of onomatopoeia.

S. T. Coleridge has also done analysis of “The Rising Sun”. To conclude, his comments are worth mentioning:

The poem is characterized by “true, vigorous exultation, both soul and body in full nuisance.”


69 + 6 =

Work with is looking for academic writers. Freshers/students are encouraged to apply. You must have good writing skills, knowledge of English literature and a will to work hard. Rates depend on experience as well as skills; however, the same are negotiable.

Most Read Articles

Waiting for Godot as an Absurd Play Absurd Theater
"Waiting for Godot" as an Absurd Play | Absurd Theater Characteristics

Samuel Beckett had largest contribution in "Absurd Theater". His play "Waiting for Godot" also belonged to the same category and was called an absurd play.

Themes of "Waiting for Godot" | Thematic Concept of Samuel Beckett
Themes of "Waiting for Godot" | Thematic Concept of Samuel Beckett

Themes of "Waiting for Godot": Existentialism, nothingness, vitality of hope, sufferings, absurdity, human race, relationships, religion, waiting, ignorance

Theme of Love and Marriage in Pride and Prejudice
Theme of Love and Marriage in "Pride and Prejudice

"Love and Marriage" is common theme of Austen's novels. "Pride and Prejudice" is a clear representation of theme of "love and marriage".

Explore Topics

Most Liked Articles

Theme of Love and Marriage in "Pride and Prejudice

"Love and Marriage" is common theme of Austen's novels. "Pride and Prejudice" is a clear representation of theme of "love and marriage".

To The Lighthouse Themes | Virginia Woolf

Some common themes of To the Lighthouse are: Relationship, Individual Vs. Society, Art and Nature and Change.

Functions of A Teacher by Bertrand Russell | Is Teacher a Tool for Govt?

Teachers are tools in the hands of government. Bertrand Russell in his essay "Functions of a Teacher" spreads light on this issue.

Still Citizen Sparrow Critical Appreciation | Stanza by Stanza

The poet does appreciation of vulture along with analysis of his critical and dirty work and then humorously asks is sparrow still citizen [civilized]?

“The Cherry Orchard” As a Tragedy | In Aristotelian Concept

Konstantin Stanislavsky produced "The Cherry Orchard" but it was presented as tragedy. Anton Chekhov showed disagreement and called this play a pure comedy.