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  • November 2012
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"Death, Be not Proud" is a metaphysical poem written by the religious poet John Donne. The poem is a part of a collection of nineteen sonnets called "Holy Sonnet ", dealing with many religious themes such as, sin, grace and salvation. In this poem Donne treats death as a person and orders him not to be proud, because it is not immortal and does not have a power over people. It is just a phase that people get through to their eternal life. Thus, people should not be afraid of death. "Death, do not be proud " is a sonnet since it consists of fourteen lines long. It follows the rhyme scheme ( abba, abba, cddc, ee). Donne starts the sonnet by personification of death as a human being who has the ability to receive orders and who has humanitarian qualities such as, being proud and poor. Furthermore, the tone of the sonnet is ironic which is obvious from the first line of it, and all through the poem. For example, in lines 5 and 6: " From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures bee, Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow," Donne is resembling death as an enlarged image of sleep and rest and saying that it is providing comfort and pleasure as they do. However, in the case of death the pleasure will be much greater. This emphasizes the idea that death is not a permanent thing. In addition, Donne depicts death as a coward who does not have the ability to face the people and take their lives out of them. Therefore, he hides himself in poison, war and sickness. Also, he displayed death as a slave to fate, chance, kings and desperate men, which means that death does not have the ability to make his own decisions. Instead, he relies on others' decisions and will. In line 11 there is another form of metaphor of sleep and death taking place where the poet says, if he wants a good sleep he will use drugs or poppies or magic to make him sleep, he doesn't need death. The final two lines (13-14) of the sonnet are reestablishment of the previous ideas that have...

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