The Flea by John Donne

The Flea by John Donne

“The Flea”, by John Donne John Donne stretches his imagination to depict love in a different perspective to those of his time. His new approach to love poetry consequently resulted in his innovativeness as a poet. One of his poems, “The Flea”, is one that delights in its own existence as a witty exercise exploring the possibilities of its subject: love. Donne uses a variety of descriptive language techniques ranging from metaphors to religious imagery to create a sense of style and rhythm in his love lyrics. While its subject matter is patently passionate where the persona would make love to his lady; the structure of the poem is argumentative as it uses the action of the flea in support of his thesis, that sex is harmless. Furthermore, the poem is set in a dramatic scene, the bedroom, where the lovers are debating, including the dramatic action of the killing of the flea by the lady; bringing eroticism into his language as well as several religious ideas and references. The conversational poem highlights their intimacy using the flea, blood and death of the flea as an analogy to sex. The tone of the poem is extravagantly playful as the lady has acted and killed the flea. The atmosphere of the poem starts off quite contemplative and whimsical and gradually becomes more absurd, picking up a faster past in the second stanza. In the third stanza, the poem pace diminishes as the reversal of the argument takes place, until it comes to a sudden halt, when the lady kills the flea.; like that of sex “? a gradual build up of intensity leading to the sudden, climatic.. death of a flea. The poem is about a man persuading his woman to have sex with him without him having to seduce her each time. The persona tells his beloved to look at the flea before them and note “how little” that thing she denies him. For the flea, has sucked both their bloods, and so inside they flea, they are mingled; and that mingling cannot …


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