The Flea by John Donne Essay

1059 Words 5 Pages
The Flea by John Donne

In the poem "The Flea", by John Donne, the speaker uses a peculiar analogy in order to persuade his beloved to engage in premarital intercourse with him. The poem is composed of three stanzas that tell a story in chronological order about a flea that has sucked the blood of the two subjects. It tells the reader how the speaker attempts to persuade his beloved not to kill the flea because it is their marriage bed and then tells of how the woman still kills the flea but how the speaker uses that to take his argument one step further and explain how since it is so easy and guilt-free to kill the flea, the same could be said of her going to bed with the him.

The structure
…show more content…
In the next phrase, “Me it sucked first, and now sucks thee, And in this flea our two bloods mingled be; Thou know’st that this cannot be said A sin, or shame, or loss of maidenhead”(3-6), we learn that the flea has bitten the two subjects and the author feels that through the flea, they have been joined together and the author indicates that that is what his beloved is not giving him – herself. He also feels that this act of the flea having both of their blood in its body is clearly not a sin or a big deal. He then goes on and says, “Yet this enjoys before it woo, And pampered swells with one blood made of two, And this, alas, is more than we would do”(7-10). The author is saying while the flea has sucked their blood and it is mixed together in his body and there is no shame in this, the speaker and his beloved still do not sleep together because she sees shame in that act. Here the flea is pampered and full of what he wants, but Donne is not and he purports this as unfair.

The next stanza goes on to tell the reader how the woman is going to kill the flea and the speaker begs her not to do so. The author writes “Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare, Where we almost, nay more than married are. This flea is you and I, and this Our marriage bed and marriage temple is; Though parents grudge, and you, we are met,

More about The Flea by John Donne Essay

Open Document