The Flea By John Donne

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Marriage is a social construct that technically has no meaning other than what the person engaging in marriage puts to it. Yet, the idea of marriage is a concept that copious amounts of people hold dear. It wormed its way into the importance of society early, and even dictates the movement in a relationship, most notably that of intimacy. In John Donne’s poem “The Flea,” extended metaphor is used to explain that the act of intimacy does not matter whether it is performed before or after marriage. Also, explicit imagery is noticeable through the poem and outlines the underlying taboo topic being discussed. Another important detail, the flea within the poem is not only used as a comparison in the extended metaphor, but also as a symbol of innocence. In “The Flea,” Donne plainly spites the acceptance of traditional values by using extended metaphor, gross imagery, and symbolism.
“The Flea” is commonly interpreted as indecent, and there is a reason behind the plain and “indecent” language in the poem. The poem’s central theme lies around the subject of premarital sex. It challenges the traditional view that couples should only consummate after marriage. The challenge is inadequately hidden on purpose through the tawdry situation that is a young man trying to lie with a young lady. That being said, premarital sex is not a big deal in today’s times, but it was an extremely scandalous topic in the 1600s. If the readers in 1600s are considered, it’d be an audience of remarkably
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