Compare and Contrast Donne's Poems the Flea and a Fever

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  • Topic: Poetry, Stanza, Emotion
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  • Published : October 12, 2008
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The Flea and A Fever are two different poems written by John Donne. However, both discuss the same theme of love. The two poems are different in the kind of love, the picture of women in both, and in the structure.

First of all, the two poems deal with the same topic which is love but of course from very different views. The Flea speaks about pure physical love and how does the poet can convince his beloved to do what he wants. He uses the flea as a symbol of their love where in it their blood are mingled. For Donne, it is their 'marriage temple' in which they become one 'one blood made of two'. By that way, he attempts to convince her of what he wants her to do. Donne does not used love as something spiritual or related to feelings or emotion, but it is concerned of the outside, it is just physically. On the other hand, in A Fever, love is more than a feeling based on outside beauty or the physical appearance of the beloved. It deals with a pure and spiritual senses. That is clear in the affection that the poem has and the reader can feel it. Donne, in this poem, shows his pure love toward his beloved who seems to die soon because of a fever. For him, her death is like the death of the world "The whole world vapours with thy breath". The poem has nothing to do with physical love, but it expresses the sadness of loosing the pure love by the death of the beloved. About this point, it seems that the two poems associate love with death. In The Flea, the symbol of love which Donne depends on it in his argument is killed by his beloved. Because this flea has the two lovers blood, they die with it. But in A Fever, his love dies with the death of her as he declares in the first line "…for I shall hate\All women so, when thou art gone". So, love in both poems is associated in somehow with death.

The second obvious difference between the two poems is the picture of women through each poem. In The Flea, woman is presented to be cruel and careless. She has...
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