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John Donne's poem "the flea" is a perfect example of a love poem

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Introduction

John donnes poem the flea is a perfect example of a love poem one of many he wrote, in the early stages of his life. This funny little poem, exhibits his metaphysical love poem mood and his ability to turn even the least likely images into elaborate symbols of love and romance. In this poem Donne uses the image of a flea that has just bitten his speaker and his beloved, by evoking this imagery, Donne sketches an amusing picture of whether the two will engage in premarital sex .At outset of the poem the reader is well aware that the beloved is not in a mood to give into the speakers demand, while the speaker is determined to convince her. His cleverness with an imagination is clearly evident in choice of the flea as the object of conviction. Although he initially seems to be grasping at straws he ultimately allows the reader to believe e might end being successful. ...read more.

Middle

In the second stanza in a bid to squash the speakers argument his beloved attempts to kill the flea. However the speaker stops her asking her to spare her three lives: His, hers and the fleas. According to him their union within the flea is almost equivalent to them being married and the flea therefore becomes their marriage bed and marriage temple. However much his beloved may try to run away from him she has to accept that a mingling has already occurred with the flea bite. She could even be forgiven for killing the flea and the speaker but he asks that she not kill herself in the process. The figure of speech in stanza is a repetition again exhibited in the word "marriage". The repetition of this word shows the speakers attempt at trying to convince his beloved of the sanctity of their relationship which he considers to be more than even marriage. ...read more.

Conclusion

The very next line of the same stanza possess a personification where the flea is given the human quality of guilty although it is a mere object in this equation and a creature incapable of feeling any such emotion. In an overall technical analysis of the poem it alternates metrically between lines in iambic tetrameter and iambic pentameter ending with two pentameter lines at the end of each stanza. Thus the stress pattern in each of the 9 line stanzas 4-5 4-5 4-5 4-55. The rhyme scheme in each stanza is regular in couplets with the final line rhyming with the final couplet. The rhyme scheme therefore is AABBCCDDD. In a general overview this poem can be credited with being the cleverest of a long line of sixteen century love poems using the flea as an erotic image. Donnes ablility of hinting at the erotic without explicitly referring to sex while at the same time leaving no doubt as to exactly what he means is the primary source of the poems humour. ...read more.

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