Death Be Not Proud

1051 words 5 pages
COURSE # AND TITLE: ENGL 102-D11: Literature and Composition
NAME: Greg Mohnkern ID: L23191458
WRITING STYLE USED: Essay of poetry (MLA style)

Thesis Statement:
“Death be not proud” by John Donne personifies death, as its title aptly prescribes. Giving death human traits allows the writer to blast him with colorful images full of sarcasm and a tone of defiance. The ultimate message of the author provokes the human soul to resist the fear of death.
Introduction: Thesis statement
Transition: Discuss the writer’s life in relationship to the subject of the poem
Discuss the poem’s form based on the 14-line Petrarch sonnet
Evaluate the mood and tone as it
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In a more subtle tone, Donne steals the sting of mortal death by evaluating it as being even greater than these, for it is tantamount to the delivery of a man’s “soul” (8). The thought of the third quatrain reveals the writer’s disdain and low view of “Death” through comparisons. Donne states that “Death” is not only equivalent to a “slave,” (9) but his bedfellows are “poison, war and sickness” (10). Donne then alludes to suicide by “poppy” (11) [opium] and “charms” (11) [magic]. He seems to imply suicide is a better way to die, saying “And better than thy stroke…” (12). In light of this, he asks “Death” how he can be so arrogant (12). Donne closes his sonnet full of hope in the ending couplet as he reminds his listeners that mortal death only means we shall “wake eternally” (13) in spirit. He concludes with the thought that once we arrive at our eternal destination death will have no power over us ever again (14). Mere perusing through this poem reveals Donne’s colorful expressions are interlaced with rich symbolism and imagery. The reader can’t help but imagine “Death” as a Goliath-sized figure upon Donne’s introduction. By the end of the poem it is imaginable that this “Goliath” is now hanging his head like a scolded child. Donne purposefully uses the metaphors and imagery of “rest and sleep” to take the harshness away from thought of death. In contrast to the idea of death having power, Donne draws an impish picture of “Death”


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