John Donne 's Sonnet About Death

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John Donne’s sonnet about death focuses on the popular opinion (then and now) of death and the process of dying. To Donne, death, a necessary passage to eternity, is pleasant and better than sleep, and many people give death more power and honor than he deserves. Because of its pleasure, Donne theorizes that death releases all pain and grief and is associated with only positive emotions. On the other hand, a rock song released in 2012 called ‘The Fighter’ written by The Fray discusses the fear and pain associated with the experience of death. John Donne’s tenth sonnet explores an attitude of death that people perceive it to be and what death really is according to ideas of Christian eternity and pleasure. These attitudes of death that Donne discusses in his sonnet oppose the attitudes of death in The Fray’s song which portrays death as painful and frightening with affects of loneliness and despair. Donne’s sonnet begins with an octet that addresses and describes Death as being incapable, pleasant, and powerless. To Donne, death is incapable of fully killing someone, for what death perceives as a person’s end is only sleep in terms of Christianity. Sleep is a luxury and a necessity, so it follows that death is a luxury and a necessity in order to enter into eternal life (Chippchipp1). Donne admonishes death, telling it to not be proud or think that it has the power to kill someone, because if one holds to the Christian idea of eternity there is nothing to fear in death.
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