The poem “The Flea” by John Donne takes a very in-depth look at the lives of two characters that appear to resemble the infamous tale of Romeo and Juliet. Overall, in the poem the flea represents a metaphor for the unity between two beings, the child they create, and the lack of innocence and guilt that the two are left with. Each stanza has the ability to set a different mood due to what the flea is representing in that moment.
Throughout the poem, the flea is able to represent many things. During the first stanza, the flea represents the unity between two people. The line “How little that which thou deniest me” (2) symbolizes a young man being denied of sex from a young girl. A metaphor is used with “A sin, nor shame, nor lose of maidenhead; /Yet this joy before it woo.” (6 - 7). This metaphor represents the man attempting to convince the woman to have sex with him, telling her that it would not be a sin or shameful if they were to engage in an act that is traditionally seen as bad thing during the time period in which the poem takes place. “And pamper’d swells with the one blood made of two” (8) insinuates that after convincing the woman to sleep with him, their blood being merged is actually a child that the two conceive.
Donne uses lots of imagery to illustrate the guilt that is held over the couples’ heads after they conceive the child. “O stay, three lives in one flea spare” (10) re-illustrates that there are now three lives that have to be taken in to consideration. “This flea is you and I, and this our marriage temple is” (12 - 13) shows that now that they are faced with her pregnancy. They have to no choice but to get married, although it is very obvious that their parents are less than impressed with the situation their children have gotten themselves in. This is shown with the line, “Though parents grudge, and you, we’re met…” (14). This line also shows that even though their parents held a grudge, they still went through with having the baby...
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