Poet’s aim: to make a social comment / declaration /express feeling towards a particular event. To understand what aim is, need to look at context in which poem is written. Can interpret poem simply by consideration of scenario presented, but without knowledge of context, reader can overlook other messages of the poet. ‘The Sunny Rising’ Simply: presents love as the miraculous feeling unaffected by time. Geocentric view made Earth centre of the universe. Thomas Digges in 1576 based on Copernicus’ theory drew universe which made the sun centre.
In 1608/1609, Galileo confirmed this theory which was socially rejected. He was prosecuted for heresy. How did Donne feel about this? Deep depression and anxiety in loss of system. Hence, rejection of theory in poem.
Sun = ‘Busi e old foole’, ‘ped antique wretch’ intruding on lovers. ‘walls’ connote no. 4 and hence the elements invisible fire, water, air and earth which were believed to make up the world which revolves around Earth. Sun is intruding by trying to become central body (trying to take power of Earth).
Persona rejects sun (theory) by commanding (power) Sun to go ‘chide school boyes, and sowre prentices’. Everything around bed (earth) is reduced to nothing. Therefore ‘school boyes’ and ‘sowre prentices’ are beyond earth, represent other stars and planets revolving around Earth. ‘This bed thy center is, these walls, thy spheare’ bed = centre = Earth.
... respect to us stays the same. With respect to the Earth sun is moving even in Copernican universe, even though with respect ... of epicycles of inferior planets will no longer lie on Sun-Earth line, Sun may appear in other constellation of zodiac), or planets ... Ptolemy will be broken (f. ex. relationship between planets and Sun-Earth line). In Copernican Universe, with modern discoveries of Galileo's ...
Pity for sun… it has to fulfil duties (revolve around earth).
Persona invites sun to shine on bed (earth) to taste power but the earth is centre in perfect place, can’t change that. Written after Donne’s marriage to Ann More, minor daughter of wealthy family.
Married secretly and his act was a “serious breach of the social code.” At the time, “it was a deeply held social principle that families were participants in the arranging of marriages.” Sir George More, characteristically possessed violent outbreaks of rage, as well, the “humour less, orthodox mind of sir George was not impressed by Donne and was suspicious of his intellectual brilliance.” Those who were present on occasions of his violent rage dreaded the consequences. Donne must have realized risk he was taking and the extent of its seriousness. India’s = important source of trade as indicated by outbreak of wars between European countries in later years. Land is important as indicated by determination of explorers’ and their expeditions. King James I loved to go hunting early in the morning Donne could be dismissing consequences of his marriage. ‘She is all states’ and ‘Nothing else is’ – considers her (Ann if Donne’s voice) to be his land – reflection of ideology that men possessed women and women = objects.
Also she is presented as ‘India’s of spice and Myne’. Hence this women is a treasure that can not be replaced, consequences of his marriage do not matter to him. Even if having to face her father’s anger (sun).
Rejection of sun = rejection of father’s anger. Doesn’t want anger to intrude early (maybe why he kept it a secret) (‘Goe tell court-huntsmen, that the king will ride’).