British imperialism in Virginia: John Donne’s humanistic and prophetic roles
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This dissertation takes an in-depth look at the work of the famous metaphysical poet John Donne to explore the extent of his physical as well as spiritual engagement with the imperialistic ambitions of the British crown. The study of this paper offers an analysis of a selection of Donne’s literary works. As John Donne had some direct involvement with England’s imperial ambitions through his association with the Virginia Company, this paper studies Donne’s criticism of colonialism despite being a part of that very system. By exposing how evangelization was used as a tool of British imperial aggression, John Donne comes across to the reader as a humanist with prophetic qualities. He argues that the expansion of the Virginia Company should be carried out with the noble, superior and moralistic notions of true spiritual imperialism through spreading the gospel values.