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A Detailed Overview Of John Donne Sonnet Death Be Not Proud

Referencing Styles : MLA | Pages : 1
  • University: Princeton University
  • Country: US

Background

‘Death Be Not Proud' is a type of sonnet which is written by one of the English author named John Donne. He was born in the year 1572 and died in the year 1631. Different types of poems are written by Donne that are mainly focused on romance, later they were removed on the themes of religion in his matured career. Later in his life, he changed himself to Anglicanism from Catholicism in the official Church of England. Later in his poems, there is found his deep knowledge in religious faith and is life is also focused as of priests and also as a dean of St. Paul's Cathedral of London. This is the sonnet that is focused on religion that is undertone in the poetry of Donne.

Summary

In this poem the speaker personifies and also addresses Death, he also tells that this is not arrogant as some of the people find death to be scary and also intimidating. Even he also says that death is not related to dying. Because no person dies at the time of their death. Even he says that he will not also die when he will have his death.

He also compared death to sleep and to rest, he describes that this is the death images. The speaker says that death is much more comfortable when compared to these specific activities. Any of the people who is death, there happens nothing more than that of resting of the body and the soul arrives in this case in the afterlife.

Death can be controlled by faith and also by luck. This is a statement that is also administered by different people and the rulers who are acting desperately. The speaker focuses that death is not any type of poison, illness or any war. He said that magic spells and the drugs are even more effective when they are compared to death.

He clarifies that death us a type of sleep which occurs in between the life of the people when they are on the earth and the alter eternal life. In this case, there is a chance that death can meet one several time or else no time further. He says that scaring due to the fear of death can be defined as dying.

Analysis

The ‘Holy Sonnet 10' of Donne is followed by the Shakespearean sonnet that is made of three different quatrains and it conducts the couplet. Donne has selected the rhyme of Italian sonnet that has the scheme Abba scheme which is of the quatrains that are in the first, they are grouped in a typical octet that is of the Petrarchan form. The rhyme is switched with the scheme that is on the third quatrain of cod and the couplet which usually rhymes eye in usual.

The quatrain that is in the first is focused on the subject and the audience of the poem is death. When death is addressed, Donne always makes a character with personification. Death is warned in case of avoiding pride which is mentioned in the first line and the position is reconsidered which is mentioned in the second line. The introductory argument is concluded that is on the first quatrain. It is done by declaring towards death, this claims to kill, but not dying, which is mentioned inline-four. Besides this, the poet cannot also be stricken in this particular way.

The second quatrain is linked to that of the first with the rhyme scheme of Abba. This turns the death criticism which is not fearful because of the good qualities of death. As mentioned in inline 5, death is much pleasurable because the good souls release death from the earthly experience which is mentioned inline 6. Donne also criticizes death because it is thought highly. Death is compared to sleep in the poem ad it is said that sleep is commonplace and is also beneficial for all human activities. People feel relaxed after having a sound sleep or taking rest then there is no such reason they will not feel good after death. The author thinks that death is nothing but a period of rest for men's "bones" their physical body while their souls are transferred to live after death. Death has been depicted as a restful passage in between life existing on Earth and eternal life. The author presents the fearful properties of death that have been represented by images like the grim reaper and these are comically not accurate. The speaker declares that "death, thou shalt die" and he asserts that this particular idea of death as being frightening and omnipotent will certainly meet its end. The author aims to flip death on its head as the pride it carries with it has been misplaced as it has nothing to do with fear of people. The speaker accomplishes this by talking down to death, mocking it for the useless pride it carries with it. He depicts death to be a slave to the earthly things emphasizing the powerlessness of death. Death is linked to "fate, chance, and kings … desperate men … poison, war, and sickness." Death is said to be a part of the Earth and is dependent on earthly things to survive and it is not the master but certainly the slave. Even when comparing it with rest the author says that still it is not impressive and opiate drugs are better means to obtain rest. Thus maybe death is looked upon in any way it is considered or proved to be inferior by the author. The author sums up his poem by the question "why swell’s thou then?" as he is asking death what it has in him to be so proud of. The author concludes by saying that death is nothing but a phase of transition in between life and the afterlife of people and with its fearsome power dispelled, death itself can die.

 

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