Death Be Not Proud
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
John Donne starts the poem “Death Be Not Proud” in utilizing the figurative language of personification, “ Death, be not proud, though some have called thee mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so”. In using this technique the author is able to apply human qualities which make Death tangible and a being in which the narrator can entertain an argument and eventually win his case based upon Christian philosophy. Additionally, in the personification of treating Death, the embodiment of non-living as a living being, the author has also utilized the literary term irony. It can be seen that through the use of personification and irony John Donne has set the stage for Death to become just as undone as any man. The continued unraveling of Death is illustrated in lines 5 and 6 through the use of metaphor, “... From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be, much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow”. The narrator is claiming that rest and sleep are nothing but pictures of death, an image of what death is, and that they provide much pleasure so when death actually does happen the pleasure will be much greater. This line of conversation brings death who imagines himself to be mighty and feared in line 1 and 2 down to a being who now...
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