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Death, be not Proud

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Carly Boileau

on 20 November 2013

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Transcript of Death, be not Proud

Death, be not Proud

What is the theme?
Death isn't strong or menacing, so fearing it is pointless.
Where is the setting?
Medieval time, but no specific location.
Lines That Specify
Main Conflict
"Death, be not proud, though some have
called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so"
Pattern, Rhyme,and Beat
There is a rhyme scheme, but it is not consistent. Almost all lines have 10 syllables. It does not have a visual pattern.
Where is the speaker?
The speaker has no specific place, but is probably alone.
When does it take place?
This takes place probably before someone the speaker knows is about to die.
Most Important Line
The fourteenth line is the most important because it sums up the poem by saying Death itself will die.
The poet mentions sleep to further his point.
Initially, readers are surprised by the author's provoking attitude towards Death. However, as it continues, the tone attempts to get readers to dispute their own acceptance of Death's "mightiness" in order to comfort any lingering fears.
It begins as challenging but as the narrator's one-sided conversation with Death goes on it turns to blatant belittlement and disregard.
Although Death is considered all-might and terrifying, in reality it is nothing more than a nap between life and eternal peace (i.e. heaven).
"And death shall be no more;
death, thou shalt die."
Death, Be Not Proud
John Donne

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
Modern Variation
Death, don't be proud, some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, but you aren't though,
For those you think that their lives they owe,
Die not, poor Death, for you can't kill me.
From rest and sleep your pictures be,
Much pleasure from you must flow,
And soonest with you our best men do go,
Their bones do slumber, and their souls in revery.
You're a slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And with poison, war, and sickness you do dwell,
And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well,
Even better than your own stroke; why so proud then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more; Death, you shall die.
Speaker- someone who has dealt with death

Occasion- death of many

Audience- those approaching death

Purpose- to inform and persuade that death isn't worth fearing

Subject- death

Tone- dark, challenging, mocking
The author uses the words sleep and rest to make the reader think of Death as peaceful. Donne uses words mighty and dreadful to describe how Death is initially thought of.
Rhetorical Devices
Allusion: "And death shall be no more;"
(line 14)
Aphorism: "our best men with thee doe goe,"
(line 7)
Sixteenth century version of our saying "Only the good die young."
Revelation 21:4 in many versions of the Bible phrase it this way. In others it is "and there shall be no more death"
By: John Donne
Analyzed by The Carlys
Full transcript