Peace in Sorrow - Affliction as used by metaphysical George Herbert, cavalier Ben Jonson, and the blind, Puritan John Milton

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To many of the world's inhabitants, the world "affliction" was not in existence until the opening of Nick Nolte's 1999 film of the same name. The idea behind affliction, a word that stresses pain, suffering, and distress, has been occurring since emotions were first able to be perceived. Nearly every class of literature displays some form of affliction. Literature scholars often employ the works of English authors in the seventeenth century to demonstrate different uses of affliction. Whether it is the emblematic poetry of Metaphysical George Herbert, the sorrowful and endearing eulogies of Cavalier Ben Jonson, or the various works of the blind, Puritan John Milton being read, the three schools of literature during the seventeenth century offer a plethora of opportunities for study.

George Herbert's emblematic poetry has long been regarded as the main reason for Metaphysical literature's presence in works of today. His "shape poems," as they are often referenced as, all focus on his overwhelming, personal devotion to the lord.

In the famous "The Altar," Herbert describes what appears to be an internal, visible structure that excellently complements the implied meaning that is on display outright. When viewing the poem with its original shape in mind, many have taken note of the capitalization on the words altar, heart, sacrifice, and once again, altar. In the work, Herbert makes mention of "rearing" a "broken" altar, a very difficult test for any man. This is Herbert's way of expressing his heart's feelings of inadequacy. Personal pain plays a large part of the "The Altar," with nonstop images of the need to bind together his own brokenness with his very own tears on display, all in the name of the his Lord. Herbert's affliction is his own broken spirit, and he dutifully prays for God to sanctify...