The Flea John Donne

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The texts ‘The Flea,’ ‘To His Coy Mistress,’ ‘The Sun Rising’ and ‘The Definition of Love’ all have similar subjects, being love or lovers in addition to containing a male character. However, they differ in their use of language, imagery, and tone. Donne’s poems The Flea and To His Coy Mistress have the Carpe Diem or “Seize the day” theme, as all urge a character to take an advantage of the present before they miss out on life. The poem ‘The Flea,’ written by John Donne, begins with an overconfident man aiming to seduce a woman by using a constant metaphor of a flea, which previously sucked his blood and is also proceeding to suck the woman’s. He uses this fact to make it seem as if sex before marriage is not a sin. It starts in the first…show more content…
The man says: “purple thy nail, the blood of innocence?” showing the blood on the woman’s fingertip, but the man asks, what did the flea do that was so wrong? But also what was so wrong with his request to make love. By squashing the flea it represented an argument she’d gown tired of, therefore she literally and metaphorically “squashed” his argument. The woman then replied “Find’st not thy self, nor me the weaker now;” by saying this she is showing that killing the flea is not a big deal, whether it was her or him who had killed it. To this the man replies ’Tis true; then learn how false, fears be: Just so much honour, when thou yield’st to me, Will waste, as this flea’s death took life from thee.” This in turn is showing that he agrees with her point, but just as she felt little remorse for killing the flea, she wouldn’t have felt any guilt or lost any honour for having given herself to him. In this way, the tone of the poem is almost humorous as the reader sees the man’s defiance in his argument to the very end. Furthermore the poem made an elaborate story based around a flea, so in this way it shows the poet’s intelligence and skill in illustrating a scenario based on a simple a flea, used as an extended metaphor for an ardent

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