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The Concept of Love in John Donnes Ecstasy In John Donnes Ecstasy love between man and woman is a blend of the physical and spiritual in equal measure In fact one might say that a slight edge is given to the physical because true love begins and ends there In lines 1 through 12 Donne describes the subtle beginnings The best physical attraction progresses slowly The passion that sweeps lovers off their feet soon burns out or turns to something most unhealthy Wise are those who cherish the touching of fingertips the wisp of hair brushing ones face So it is with these two on the river bank They look into each others eyes and hold hands That is all that is enough That is all the means to make us one That is all our propagation Now had they gone on to the next physical steps --Kissing caressing and finally intercourse -- This would have been the kind of love affair that Donne speaks of in A Valediction Forbidding Mourning as a dull sublunary love which cannot admit absence because it both remove those things which elemented it --the bodily attributes which are the totality known of the love object But these lovers do not make that mistake Lines 13 to 48 delineate the Ecstasy the standing out wherein the two souls leaves the bodies of the man and the woman Before this happens the pair are still divided like two equal armies poised for a possible battle of the sexes in which they play games with each other as they strive for dominance But this battle never takes place because the lovers resist the temptation either to continue with the seduction or to play mind games Instead they relax and luxuriate in the magic of being in love They do not even talk because words are unnecessary They lie like sepulchral statues and allow their
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