Death Be Not Proud Poem

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Where Donne in his poem, try to celebrate death for his said lack of power on life, providing a 360 degree change of what most of the common people think of death. This poem can also be perceived as act of ego from the poet which may be interpreted as Donne considering himself superior to what it is believed Adam from the bible brings by his disobedience from God i.e. death. The poem ends in a paradox “And death shall be more; Death, thou shalt die”. It seems like the speaker is addressing a funeral oration to death, which is quite absurd as who can kill death? But we can associate this belief to the sayings in the Bible about God being supreme “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (Corinthians 1). The structure of the poem is…show more content…
As for the sestet, the rhyme scheme can be settled as CDDCEE for the rhyming of the end words “dwell” and “well” from lines ten and eleven, the word “men” and “then” from line nine and twelve and the two rhyming sound of “eternally” and “die”(it seems like in Donne’s days, these two words rhyme). This change in the rhyme scheme also confirm the “turn” of the…show more content…
By addressing the poem to death and using words like “thee”, “thou” and “thy” when referring to him, it confirms the use of personification in his poem. Another figure of speech which is quite popular n this poem is apostrophe as Donne is referring to death as “Mighty and dreadful” or “poore death”. This aspect of the poet in his writing is being detached from reality and address an imagery character which here is death, is defined as apostrophe (Literacy.net). However, Donne seems to make a clear distinction when referring to death as a noun and when addressing death as a person. This is observed in the last line of the poem where both words are stated but seem to have different meanings. The first one appears to be referring to death like the event of dying which the speaker thinks shall no more exist while the second one is like pointing fingers at death and telling him that he shall die. Donne makes use of metaphor to compare the apparent peacefulness of death to the state of “rest and sleepe”. This idea is extended when referring to the “rest of their [best men] bones” and also the use of “poison, warre” and “poppie or charmes”. Rather than death being the master of life and time, for it can happen anytime to anyone, Donne makes him bears other masters like “Fate, Chance” by calling him “slave”. Again, this is revealed through the use of metaphor. Another important figure of speech used by Donne
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