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Margret Fetzer

speaker and listener, so that the speaker’s own personality is backgrounded: Heare us, for till thou heare us, Lord We know not what to say. Thine ear to’our sighes, teares, thoughts gives voice and word. O Thou who Satan heard’st in Jobs sicke day, Hear thy selfe now, for thou in us dost pray. (ll. 203–7) God’s listening encourages and inspires the speaker’s words. Sense relies on the interdependence of performing and being listened to. Once again, speaker and audience are not altogether distinct from one another, for, as the speaker argues, it is God who prays in

in John Donne’s Performances
Margret Fetzer

discussion of his pulpit performances. Moreover, the above quotation places Christ in a humble position, picturing him, together with the speaker of this verse, in the act of praying. Donne’s sermon on this text observes Christ acting here ‘as though God needed us, to intreat us to be reconciled to him’, ‘he proceeds with man, as though man might be of some use to him, and with whom it were fit for him to hold good correspondence’ (X, 5, 120). The relationship between God and humankind is imagined as one of mutuality, even interdependence, where giver and recipient, God

in John Donne’s Performances
Syrithe Pugh

negotiating with political power – that model in which, as we saw at the end of Chapter 3, the Virgilian poet remains trammelled by his dependency on that power, even as he asserts the mutual interdependence of the relationship in order to drive his bargain. Pastoral here is no longer a bargain with power. Thus there are no gifts in this Irish setting – those garlands and lambs which symbolized the pastoral negotiation in the Calender. In the dedicatory epistle to Ralegh, the poem itself is still figured as a ‘present’, but it is neither a wooing gift nor a tribute to a

in Spenser and Virgil