The Flea By John Donne

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John Donne was a contemporary of Shakespeare. His writing career occurred during the Renaissance. Poems about seduction were common during this era. The Flea by John Donne was a poem about a man urging his love interest into a sexual union with him by way of reason. In this time, premarital sex was considered a great sin and could get someone in a lot of trouble. The flea in this poem was used as a symbol of love and romance. A flea was one of the things that would least likely be used to describe a plot, between a man and a woman, about premarital sex. He appealed to her sense of reason rather than seducing her because she was fearful about giving herself to him. The narrator never talked directly about sex, instead he used imagery and…show more content…
The flea sucked blood from both of them so he represented three lives; the narrator’s, his love interest, and its own. He convinced her that even though their blood was mingled inside the flea no one could ever call it “a sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead.” He later expressed his jealousy of the flea tasting her without having to woo her. He believed he should be entitled to the same privilege.
The narrator stated, “oh stay, three lives in one flea spare.” In this statement, the narrator was asking his love interest to spare the life of the flea because it represented the both of them and their union. In a way, he tried to make her feel guilty by telling her that she would be killing the three lives that the flea represents. He started his next line saying that they were almost married but ironically ended it saying that they were more than married. He expressed that the flea represented the two of them as well as their marriage bed and marriage temple. Even though her parents did not approve of their union and she did not have sex with him he told her that they were cloistered in the walls of the flea. Later, he admitted that she was apt to kill him and asked her to not commit a crime by killing the part of herself that was inside of the flea. To kill the flea would be unholy so he said, “three sins in killing three.” If she were to kill the flea she would be committing murder, suicide, and sacrilege. She would me committing murder and
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