Defeated by Fate: Death be not Proud, by John Donne i

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Is death a slave to fate or is it a dreaded reality? People differ on the opinion of death, some people view death as a new beginning which should not be feared, while many people perceive death as an atrocious monster. Death be not proud, by John Donne is a poem that challenges death and the idea of its ferocity. Donne’s work is greatly influenced by the death of his countless family members, friends and spouse. Donne was not only a poet, but he was also a priest in the Church of England, so his interest in religion and his belief in eternal life after death, also contributed greatly to his work. The poem Death be not proud, is a metaphysical poem about death, in which John Donne undermines, ridicules, and determines the meaning of death, according to his perspective. Donne uses personification to give death human characteristics and to challenge its power. This is conveyed to the reader in the following statement, “Death, be not proud, though some have called thee /Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;” (Donne 1-2). The tone and the way in which Donne is talking about death, seems like he is talking to a person, he tells death that it is neither powerful nor dreadful, and it has nothing to be proud of. Also he refers to death using the word “thou,” which means you, which shows that he is personifying death. His argument would not have been as strong without personification, because the personification makes it look like he is actually talking to someone.

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