Death Be Not Proud Poem Analysis

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INTRODUCTION “Death, be not proud”, is part of a series of the Holy Sonnets which is listed as number 10 in the series written by, John Donne around 1610 and 1612. John Donne was a very successful English poet, born in London, England in 1572. Donne, was very known for his startling metaphysical poems who also became a preacher during his time on this earth. Death is very powerful, however, it’s not so powerful for us as humans to fear an eternal life in heaven.
The theme of the poem, “Death, be not proud”, is a poem that struggles with the power of death. According to the author, Donne, in order to make it to heaven, one must cross over through death. In line 2 of the poem, Donne states that some people have called “death mighty and dreadful”, but that is not the case. Death should be looked upon as a good thing, instead of dreadful.
This Sonnet is made up of three quatrains and a conclusion couplet. The first quatrain addresses the the topic of death. The author uses personification/metaphors. The poet proclaims that death is not as big and bad as it may appear. It also shows that one can cheat death and death will not win. In this first quartrain, Donne expresses that though death may attempt to kill you, you will not die. Death will not win.

In the second quartrain, the author, Donne, illustrates that death can be peaceful and pleasureful. Donne, explains that death is not always about suffering and that, “Our best men with thee do go”. Donne, goes on to say, “Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery”. This let me know that even those who do go must also die and our souls will be released into heaven to be at peace.
In the third quartrain, death is catergorized in a variety of ways one can become a victim to death. “A slave to fate, chance, kings and desperate men”, these terms can men the same or have different meanings. On line ten, “Fate”, and “Chance”, can have the same meaning but also leads us to believe that a person can die for reasons beyond their control. “Desperate men” could mean that someone lost their life taking a chance at something that caused the ending of their life. Line eleven in the poem, Donne mentions “And dost with poision, war, and sickness”. Death can be
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