Reader Response Criticism of

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What is Reader Response? What good does it do? Reader Response is a literary criticism technique that helps the reader better understand the text and the world around them. Reader Response critics can sum up their analysis by answering this question: What is the reading process, and what happens during it (Bressler, Literary Criticism An Introduction To theory and Practice, page 62)?

John Donne, born 1572, died 1631, wrote poems for an elite society of friends, and circulated them only in manuscript form. Many of his works were not published until after his death. Donne's poems primarily dealt with love. His piece "The Flea, ¬Ě written in 1633, depicts a typical renaissance love poem (Kelly, The Seagull Reader Poems, page 50). Fleas were a staple of conventional renaissance love poetry. Medical professionals believed that conception resulted in the mixing of a man and woman's blood during intercourse (Kelly, The Seagull Reader Poems, page 54). Of course fleas feed on blood, making the creature much more erotic to the time period. The speaker in poem is in love with a woman he is going to marry. He is most envious of the flea, for it's ability to roam his love's body at free ... Continue Reading