Theme Of Death Be Not Proud

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Death be not proud is a sonnet written by the poet John Donne (1572-1631) which was published after he died mainly in 1633. The exact year of the poem is quite ambiguous, as none of his works were published during his lifetime (Patricia Garland Pinka, 2010). John Donne is known as the greatest English love poet of the Renaissance Period and often considered as the founder of the metaphysical poets ( for his involvement in both love and religions. For say, he is referred as someone who “affects the metaphysics, not only in his satires, but in his amorous verses, where nature only should reign; and perplexes the minds of the fair sex with nice speculations of philosophy, when he should engage their hearts, and entertain them with the…show more content…
It looks quite apparent to rename the poem as such, as the main theme of the poem appears to be making a fool of Death itself. In this poem, it seems like the speaker is addressing an elegy or requiem to Death as he would normally do to a human being. The aspect of speaking of an abstract concept as if it were gifted with life is a literary device known as personification or prosopeia in the Greek Term (M.H. Abrams, 1999). The personification of death brings it to the level of the common man, practically considered as human. Death is often associated to fear, fatality, pain and end, but in Death be not Proud, the narrator offers a different view of what death should be. (Death will be referred as ‘he’ due to the personification) According to the speaker, Death shouldn’t be proud, though people consider him as a king “Mighty” who has the power of doing terrible “dreadful” things like taking them away from their lifetime acquisitions “for, thou art not”. He is not only making a fool out of death but also stating that there is nothing to be afraid of, as for him, “poore death” cannot kill people but is only as pleasurable as “rest and sleepe”. It seems like Donne uses the idea of Christian eternal life, arguing that people are not killed as death is only the start of eternal life “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in…show more content…
Again, Death is to be considred as a trivial matter as he doesn’t come by himself, but rather by “fate, Chance, Kings, and desperate men” or with the help of notorious drugs like “poison, warre, and sicknesse dwell”. It appears like the narrator doesn’t think that one

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