Holy Sonnet 10 By John Donne

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In John Donne’s Holy Sonnet 10, Donne expresses that he does not fear Death. This Petrarchan sonnet consists of a narrator, who is probably Donne, considering that the sonnet was written when he was old, and nearing death. Towards the end of his life, Donne became incredibly reflective and much more religious, and this work is a product of that. Donne relentlessly taunts Death, challenging his dominance and power over the course of the poem. He argues that Death is no longer as frightening, no longer as powerful, and no longer something that is revered. Donne enhances his argument via the use of figurative language, imagery, and form. Donne uses many forms of figurative language when building his argument in Holy Sonnet 10. The use of metaphors throughout the poem greatly enhances his argument with Death. Donne’s first use of a metaphor comes early on, when he says, “From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,/Much pleasure from thee, much more must flow,” (5-6). He compares rest and sleep to death in this line, saying that they are both pictures of it. The comparison of them to being “pictures” of death allows Donne to draw to the conclusion that if we derive some pleasure from rest and sleep, death must be greatly pleasureful. Donne’s use of this metaphor to illustrate death as something pleasurable furthers his argument that Death is no longer a daunting and powerful figure to humanity. The next important metaphor yet again highlights how little power that Donne
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