Analysis of the Poem, The Flea by John Donne Essay

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Analysis of the Poem “The Flea” by John Donne

Poets have often used symbols to convey deeper messages that they were either too afraid or felt that normal language lacked the power to express. Often when a symbol is used, the reader digs deeper into the issue more than if the message was simply shot out in the open. These symbols and metaphors can be used to portray beautiful things, or could be used to create a more compelling argument in a more subtle way. In the poem “The Flea” by John Donne, the speaker uses clever sexual innuendo and metaphors in an attempt to manipulate a certain girl into losing her virginity to him. The poem begins with the speaker explaining that a flea has bit both him and her, and now both of
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As the girl threatens to kill the flea, the speaker begs her to stop. He states that all three of their lives are in this flea, and that through the blood of the flea he and her are already married. If the girl were to kill the flea, he feels that it would be the equivalent of murdering all three of them. The speaker is desperately trying to manipulate the girls actions too his advantage. Donne uses more metaphors too twist his words into a more convincing argument. Even after the girl kills the flea by “purpling thy naile”, the speaker asks the girl how she could have found the flea guilty besides that he sucked her blood. He then points out that even after killing the flea, neither her nor him has become weaker because of it. So again he manages to use the girls actions to his advantage by saying that by killing the flea and spilling innocent blood of all three of them, she has essentially done the same thing as losing her virginity, and has lost nothing. Because of this, he continues to press on with his argument. Telling her how her fears are unnecessary, and that she would lose just as much honor as when she killed the flea as when she gave herself to him. “The Flea” is a very well written and convincing love letter, basically with the sole focus on the

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