Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing


Literature, English.


Janzen, H.




John Donne's epithalamia, "Epithalamion made at Lincolnes Inne," "An Epithalamion, Or marriage Song on the Lady Elizabeth, and Count Palatine being married on St. Valentines day," and the "Epithalamion" for the Earl of Somerset, when compared to other groups of poems written by Donne, especially the Songs and Sonets, receive relatively little critical attention. Perhaps Donne's marriage songs are so often overlooked because they are believed to be restricted not only by the patronage system, but by the nature of the genre itself. In this thesis, I have attempted to illustrate that, despite the tendency of critics to dismiss them as "insincere" or "not credible," Donne's epithalamia are representative of both the time in which they were composed and their writer. Also, I have attempted to illustrate that to ignore the socioeconomic, the religious, and the political pressures which acted upon Donne, as well as Donne's own beliefs and preoccupations, is to ignore information necessary to a fuller appreciation of his wedding poetry. Although he draws upon and strictly adheres to a vast stockpile of conventional features, themes, and topoi used by both classical poets and Renaissance contemporaries, Donne adapts certain generic norms in order to illustrate his own attitudes and opinions, to communicate or to resolve anxieties characteristic of his society, and to comment on the particular wedding being celebrated. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1995 .F49. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-02, page: 0534. Adviser: Henry Janzen. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1995.