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What Is Donne's attitude to death in his poems? You should base you answer on Death be not proud and one another sonnet of your choice.

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Introduction

What Is Donne's attitude to death in his poems? You should base you answer on Death be not proud and one another sonnet of your choice. Although both sonnet X and I are both about death, the idea is introduced to us in two completely different perspectives. In Sonnet X Donne challenges death but in the other he fears it. In Sonnet X, "Death be not proud", Donne challenges death. He says that death should not be boastful, although it sounds dreadful and powerful, it is actually nothing but a deep sleep, which can be a resting and peaceful. When a person dies their body rests while their soul is set free. He explains that death is merely a slave to chance, thus it shouldn't be so proud. As he believes after a short sleep comes eternal life, where death does not exist. This is a very powerful sonnet as it begins with Donne challenging his greatest fear, "Death be not proud", he is almost dismissing death in a very scornful way. The emphasis of "Death" is even greater as the first foot is reversed, as if it is thrown at us. ...read more.

Middle

He goes further, by mentioning that "poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well", therefore death is not significant, as opium or spells can give us better sleep. So he questions death, by asking it why is it so proud if it is powerless and insignificant, "why swell's thou then?" especially since we awake to eternal life after this "short sleep", to a life where death doesn't exist; a place where death itself is dead. The final couplet is very powerful it concludes his logical argument and shows us Donne's certainty in resurrection. This sonnet is very hopeful and different to the rest of his works. Here he challenges death and shows us that he is not frightened of death. In Sonnet (I), "Thou hast made me, and shall Thy work decay?" Donne directly addressing God, asking him how he can allow his own creation to sin, "decay". He asks God to repair him before he dies, which seems to be quite near as the language implies that he is speeding towards it. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is followed by Donne telling God that only he can stop him from burning in the eternal flames of hell by forgiving him, which could then give him "wings" that will enable him to go to heaven. And God like a magnet should draw the iron of Donne's heart towards himself. This sonnet makes it clear to us that Donne is terrified of death and fears rejection from God. He creates this image of death being a speedy impact, very powerful and dreadful. It is obvious to see that Donne fears death because he strongly believes in resurrection and judgement day, when he will be punished for his sins, which he believes, will eventually drag him down to hell. By analysing Sonnet I and X, it seems quite clear that Donne has an obsession with death. It seems obvious to us that he fears life after death more than he fears death itself. As he believes that death is very similar to sleep, when the body rests and the soul is free. In sonnet I, we see that he fears life after death as he believes that he has sinned more than anyone else since he changed his faith. ...read more.

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