The Flea and the Sun Rising Essay

1664 WordsOct 2, 20127 Pages
The metaphysical era in poetry started in the 17th century when a number of poets extended the content of their poems to a more elaborate one which investigated the principles of nature and thought. John Donne was part of this literary movement and he explored the themes of love, death, and religion to such an extent, that he instilled his own beliefs and theories into his poems. His earlier works, such as The Flea and The Sunne Rising, exhibit his sexist views of women as he wrote more about the physical pleasures of being in a relationship with women. However, John Donne displays maturity and adulthood in his later works, The Canonization and A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning, in which his attitude transcends to a more grown up one. The…show more content…
He uses the flea as an excuse for marriage and that they are now permitted to have sex. Out of desperation Donne shifts to a more religiously point of view by saying, “And sacrilege, three sinnes in killing three.” (Line 18) This means that if the woman kills the flea, she is killing the flea, him, herself, and God. However, the women squashes the flea along with his argument and Donne is left with one final go at convincing the woman. The final stanza of the poem expresses his sheer desperation to have sex with the woman as he deviates to using a lenient approach. He blames her not for killing the flea, but says that her act did not damage her honour in any way, and that she should still “yeeld’st to mee” (Line 26), or should still sleep with him. The content of The Flea demonstrates the exact sexist attitude that John Donne possessed when he wrote his early love poems. Likewise, the same desire for physical pleasure can be seen in the poem The Sunne Rising. This poem encompasses Donne’s ignorance of his surroundings and his obsession for sexual pleasure. Throughout the poem he attacks and challenges the sun with contempt, and does so by personifying it. He is obviously disturbed and troubled by the “unruly Sunne” (Line 1) and tells
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