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Death, be not proud

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by

Rachel Lauver

on 13 October 2014

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Transcript of Death, be not proud

Donne uses a condescending tone to show the speaker's fearlessness towards death
"Be not proud": should not feel above
"Poor death": belittling, he is higher than death
"slave to fate": Death is not the cause, it is the temporary effect
"Death, thou shalt die": when you wake eternally
Death is told not to be prideful
Not to be feared
Belittled, diminished to the same effects of sleep
Accused to not be sole cause of "death"
Outside causes lead into death
Same effect can be achieved through other means as well

John Donne, who had been battling a brain tumor for an indefinite period of time, is a Christian who believes in life after death. In this poem, Donne personifies death, something that was evident in his life, in attempt to diminish it to a less intimidating concept.
Petrarchan Sonnet
Rhyme scheme: ABBA ABBA CDDC EE
Knot-like sentence structure
Abrupt slant rhyme in lines 13 - 14
"From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow"
(lines 5-6)
death appears as rest and sleep
rest and sleep are desired, but death is feared
"And better than thy stroke"
(line 12)
"stroke" is a soothing motion, which brings the word "flow" from line 6 back to mind
the imagery is used to emphasize the idea that Death is not something to be feared
Full transcript