Premium Essay

Death Be Not Proud

In: English and Literature

Submitted By gmohnkern
Words 1036
Pages 5
COURSE # AND TITLE: ENGL 102-D11: Literature and Composition
SEMESTER OF ENROLLMENT: Spring 2013
NAME: Greg Mohnkern ID: L23191458
WRITING STYLE USED: Essay of poetry (MLA style)

Thesis Statement:
“Death be not proud” by John Donne personifies death, as its title aptly prescribes. Giving death human traits allows the writer to blast him with colorful images full of sarcasm and a tone of defiance. The ultimate message of the author provokes the human soul to resist the fear of death.
Outline:
Introduction: Thesis statement
Transition: Discuss the writer’s life in relationship to the subject of the poem
Body:
Discuss the poem’s form based on the 14-line Petrarch sonnet
Evaluate the mood and tone as it changes through the thoughts expressed by the writer Review the uses of symbolism and imagery Review the poet’s theme based on mortality and hope
Summary: Donne successfully encourages the reader to reevaluate the power of death

The Death of the Power of Death
“Death be not proud” by John Donne personifies death. The poem is an apostrophe. By giving death human traits it allows Donne to blast his vilified opponent with colorful images full of sarcasm and a strong tone of defiance. The title is drawn from the first line of the poem, as this is the tenth of Donne’s “Holy Sonnets,” according to Louis Untermeyer, in his work Lives of the Poet ( 136). The ultimate message of the author is to provoke the human soul to resist the fear of death and embrace the freedom of eternal life. “Death, which became Donne’s obsession, was always a leading theme,” states Untermeyer (135). Donne’s relationship to the subject was likely forged from his being “reared as a Catholic in a deeply religious household” (Untermeyer, 124) even though he eventually left Catholicism for the Anglican Church, where he became a pastor...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Death, Be Not Proud

...Death: The New Beginning Death is the inevitable truth of life but it is not the end. Instead death is the only beginning of eternal life. The desire to live life to the fullest is a fundamental part of being alive and so it is natural to fear death. Some people consider that to be mighty and dreadful however the poet in conversation with death states that death has no reason to be proud. The poet argues death is weak and dependent on faith, chance, kings and desperate man. The poet takes a strong stance in confronting death and he communicates the central theme that death is neither absolute nor powerful. Instead of worrying about dying, people should live their life to the fullest, so when it actually comes, they don't regret it. In a dialogue with death he uses the word “overthrow”, “die not”, as a verdict that death does not perform actions and that makes it powerless, which is contributing the central theme. He uses the word “poor death” stating that death is less worth than a human, also adding to the theme that death is not to be feared of. He emphasizes by saying “Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men, and dost with poison, war and sickness dwell...” In general, people perceive death as absolute and mortal but the poet claims that death as a “Slave” to poison, war and sickness from which people die. Death completes the mortality of humans and they attain immortal status. The poet continues that after one dies, the soul is carried on to live......

Words: 420 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Death, Be Not Proud

...Death, Be Not Proud “Death, Be Not Proud” is a nonfiction sonnet written by John Donne, in which the speaker takes on Death, claiming it to be boastful and proud unjustifiably. The speaker takes a stand against the oppressive nature of Death, and asserts that a greater effect can take place through the use of simple human means, such as “poppies, or charms.” In fact, Donne ultimately claims that death has no real effect, and could conceivably be a relief, as we will “wake eternally.” He alleges that in the end, the only thing to die is Death itself. Throughout the poem, Donne talks to death as though he is speaking to it directly. This use of personification is of use, especially when the author is seemingly patronizing death, calling it “poor Death.” He exploits Death’s dependence on accidents, mistakes, and misfortune. According to Donne, Death is at the mercy of “Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men.” He demeans Death’s endeavors to such an extent that he pokes fun at its bleak and undesirable affiliates, “poison, war and sickness.” In giving death the role of something tangible, Donne is certainly aiming to take control and humble a force that is seen to most as unnerving. By establishing supremacy, it seems as though John Donne is trying to convince others to adopt the same attitude as he. Considering his obvious belief in heaven through the phrase “wake eternally,” Donne is proudly claiming to have conquered death because of his acceptance of the Christian......

Words: 558 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Death Be Not Proud

...“On the Subway” by Sharon Olds “On the Subway” is a poem illustrated by Sharon Olds that distinguishes the worlds of a prosperous Caucasian woman and a deprived African American man through the sense of trepidation, vagueness, disparity, and municipal tension. The two characters contain numerous contrasting personalities, and the writer utilizes fictional methods such as tone, poetic devices, and imagery to depict these distinctions. The storyteller is the Caucasian lady, and she understands how natives get "trapped" in places of humanity base on their skin color. The poem is shifted into three divisions to articulate the intricate affiliation among Caucasians and African Americans. The metaphors Olds uses in the first part accentuates the disparities among the Caucasian lady who is the storyteller as well as the spectator and the African American young man, who is the pragmatic, while both of them are traveling on the channel. The shoes he has on are black crisscrossed through pasty. The narrator portrays the pasty meander as "deliberate disfigurement”. The disfigurement alludes to the inequity against the African American male by Caucasian humanity. The adjective "intended" indicates that Caucasians deliberately hurt African Americans. The picture distinct Caucasians among African Americans: Caucasians are authoritative; African Americans are submissive. “Correspondingly, the lady and the young man are portrayed like "trapped on conflicting sides" of the subway car; they......

Words: 793 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Death Be Not Proud

...English literature Analysis of poetry Holy Sonnet Death be not proud John Donne John Donne was an English poet, satirist, lawyer and a cleric in the Church of England, who is considered the pre-eminent representative of the metaphysical poets. His poems are famous for their strong, sensual style and include sonnets, love poems, religious poems, and so on. His poem is famous for its vibrancy of language and inventiveness of metaphor, especially compared to that of his contemporaries. Donne's style is characterized by abrupt openings and various paradoxes, ironies and dislocations. He always habitually uses the dramatic or everyday speech rhythms. He is the pioneer of modern poet. In this semester, we learn a poem is written by John Donne, which gives me the deep impression. Is "Death be not proud". "Death be not proud" is his masterpiece of metaphysical poem, is written around 1610 and first published posthumously in 1633. It is the tenth sonnet of Donne's posthumously published Holy Sonnets. This poem is addressed to Death, telling him not to be proud, because death is not to be feared. This poem explains death is the moment while joy is eternal after death. Besides, it also shows sleep is a type of death, and that it is pleasurable. In addition, he uses bold description of practices; the rhythm of the poem is more powerful. In the poem imagine is newness and bolder, and it's mainly dominated by death. By means of terrorist imagination and unreal......

Words: 1122 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Death Be Not Proud

...English 101 Research Outline Hasheem Al Ibrahim - 115166 7th August 2012 Thesis: Fast Food is the cheapest food man can buy, but it is not at all the healthiest. We are led to believe that this food is good for you when in reality, it’s nothing but harmful to the body and it needs to reveal it’s true identity.             I. The average fast food meal                         a. Nutritional information                                     i. Comparison to normal food                         b. Effects on human body                                     i. Damage over time                                     ii. Compare to a life without fast food             II. Media                         a. How it convinces it’s customer’s to buy their food                                     i. Strategies used to “reel” customers in                                     ii. How they keep people coming (i.e. value menu, etc.)                         b. Advertisements that bend the truth to attract more people                                     i. Different styles of advertisement                                     ii. Other ways to attract people (i.e. smells, visual appeal, etc.)             III. Reasons                         a. Why people still eat it when they know it’s bad                                     i. Prices                                     ii. Convenience                                     iii. Availability             IV.......

Words: 265 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Death Be Not Proud

...Isaac Newton 4th period Jasmine Moore Denise Sanchez Monica Tarango Introduction Isaac Newton a phycisian that discovered the color spectrum used a glass prism to show us how it works. He darken up his room and opened a little whole and let the light come through it, there then he placed a glass prism and let the light hit it. As the light hit the prism rainbow colors appeared he then called it “color spectrum.” Isaac Newton was the first one to discover that colors come from a white color. Hypothesis We believe that as the light hits the glass it wont show as much of the colors of the rainbow. But it will show enough to the point where it helps us know that the white light does creat multicolors. Materials Materials needed for this experiment would be: * Dark room * A flash light * A glass prism * And a white board (for the colors could be seen) Procedure First you will need to turn of the lights in the room where you are at. As soon as it is dark you get the glass prism and the flashlight facing it to a white board. Once it is faced on the white board you placed the glass prism in front of the flashlight, then if you pay close attention you could see the colors of the rainbow appear in the white board. Conclusion Our hypothesis was right not all colors appeared but some of the rainbow colors appeared in the white board. Isaac Newton did a great job finding out that a white light can be created into...

Words: 269 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Compare-Contrast Critical Analysis Essay

...Essentially I feel that each poem in its own “Funeral Blues” (W. H. Auden), “Death, be not proud” (John Donne), and “Because I could not stop for Death” (Emily Dickinson) are unique in their own way however, I feel that two poems in particular may show more similarity in each other versus all three being compared at once although, I will be comparing and contrasting all three poems towards the end of this essay. For example, When reading “Funeral Blues” (W. H. Auden), I felt a greater sense of similarity to “Because I could not stop for death” (Emily Dickinson) versus “Death, be not proud” (John Donne) so I will begin to discuss those poems first. When comparing each poem I will list the related styles between the two and the same for contrasting each when discussing the distinctive differences. In “Funeral Blues”; a poem about the mourning of a dear loved one, Auden used a great sense of imagery when writing to assist the audience in creating a mental picture. Each line used a great amount of detail for example, when Auden wrote “Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead scribbling in the sky the message he is dead.” It was easy for me to actually picture this statement mentally due to his choice of words. Also, he uses a rhyme scheme that is successful in expressing the deep mourning and sorrow that he feels. The same feelings expressed in “Funeral Blues” can also be felt in “Because I could not stop for death” (Emily Dickinson). As in Auden’s poem when speaking of his......

Words: 1055 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Wit & Donne Essay

...concerns with mortality and death directs and upholds enduring notions dependant on the  contextual values of religion and human epistemologies. In the poetry of John Donne (1572‐ 1631) and play Wit (1997)by Margaret Edson, the recurrent issues of death and self  actualisation are realigned in the Elizabethan context and post modernist ideals. While  centuries separate the historical and social context of the paired texts, the human issues  remain parallel reasserting the fundamental concerns of life and death in Donne’s poetry to  give rise to new interpretations of the understanding of life.     The evolution of societal ideologies regarding humanity’s attitude towards death is reliant  upon the vicissitudinary nature of both cultural and historical contexts. In Donne’s context  the Jacobean era saw the flourishing of Protestant Christianity and scientific advancements  as seen in individuals such as Shakespeare and Galileo. This anthropocentric, humanistic  movement is apparent in Donne’s challenge to the petrarchan conventions of poetry, in  which he expresses the confidence of humanity and the arrogant attitude towards death that  is central to his Holy Sonnet X  ‘Death be not proud.’ Addressed through the second person  references ‘thou’, ‘thee’, ‘thy’, death is not considered abstractly but anthropomorphisedas  the poems central conceit. In Donne’s apostrophe to death , he personifies this concept and  arrogantly reduces its power in “Death be not prou......

Words: 1080 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Compare / Contrast Essay

...Issa Haddad Jason Sebacher ENGL102 27 November 2012 Compare/Contrast Essay In Dylan Thomas', “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”, he entreats his father to not succumb quietly to death. He uses the metaphor, "the dying of the light" (3) to illustrate that he feels death to be a destructive power seeking to put out the "light" which is the human life force. That he feels this destruction should not be passively accepted is first shown when he states, "old age should burn and rave at the close of day" (2). He employs the metaphor, "close of day" (2) to show he feels death is an end to human consciousness as he knows it. He also uses "old age" (2) to personify the person/people who should fight death, and "burn and rave" (2) to indicate the fight. He uses examples of different types of men resisting death to add to his argument that life should not be given up lightly. "Wise men" (4) do not "go gentle" because "their words had forked no lightning" (5). Another metaphor, meaning that the words they speak receive no notice, therefor there is still more recognition to achieve before death's finality. "Good men" (7), realizing (with the metaphor/personification) that their "frail deeds might have danced in a green bay" (8), also fight against dying. The use of "green bay" (8) as a metaphor for the inevitable "sea" of mortality shows that they realize their actions in life may not yet be enough to secure them an illustrious place in human history and remembrance. "Wild......

Words: 1276 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Essay

...the comprehensions of the sin divine people’s min into two sides. But there is never pro or con side because every person explains according to his own life and private examples. Also it did not pass along our one of the most famous historic of philosophy Socrates and St. Augustine in their latest compositions. They say that the “Sin” is a thing that harms one’s life in abstract way. Basically Socrates in the “Apology” understands Sin just like an abandon during your self-development therefore he used to say “If you ever do not know anything about knowledge and afterwards just forget it and let it go” so this is a sin. On the other hand the Sin in Confessions by Saint Augustine is a new attempt, he proposes as sin, things which makes you proud. Since both characters have their own thoughts on something, and this understanding makes them really different. For example they both say about sins however they understand different things as a sin. These most incredible Greek philosophers such as St. Augustine and Socrates with ambiguous ideas disputed about what the Sin is. Moreover they have different views on how to look to Sin with different directions. St. Augustine’s book which is called Confession is autobiographic since it was written according his life, and after reading the Confession we can deduce that what were his understandings about sin in his different life ages. Moreover we can find out, how a sinful life he had and how could overcome his sinful......

Words: 1758 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

West Side Story Essay

...established tragic hero impacts the rise, climax, fall, and ultimate inescapable disaster of the story. The plot structure of a literary tragedy follows a very specific and necessary path throughout the story. The tale begins with hatred, fighting, and conflict, at nobody’s ideal. The plot requires a reason to escalate or rise, which is the Tony, the tragic hero, and his desire to reach his ideal of love. Other characters’ ideals are also attempted to be achieved. The individual members of the Jets and Sharks strive to gain superiority and territory from each other. The gangs start the path to their ideals by arranging a fight to decide who the victorious and superior gang will be. Tony rises towards his ideal when he meets Maria, and makes a proud and willful decision to pursue a relationship, despite forces acting against them. Uncontrollable forces act upon our hero, such as his circumstance and the hate he is surrounded by, but he nevertheless begins to rise to something greater, establishing Tony as an elevated character. Tony raises himself above his peers because he strives for a greater ideal than one achieved through fighting; he is pushed by fate and peers to conform, but stands by his different beliefs and goals and embraces his situation. For example, Tony works a job...

Words: 850 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Donne and W; T

...Through the comparative study of John Donne's poetry and Margaret Edson's play W;t we are shown the individual context of both writers and their perspectives on relationships and death. Donne represents his assurance of life after death in his Holy Sonnets. Additional to this in his earlier poetry, his valuing of deep relationship being critical to the human experience is reflected by his renaissance belief. Edson's individual post-modern context is apparent in the appropriation and rewriting of Donne's ideas to reflect her own perspective. This is further emphasized in the choices made by each composer to represent their ideas in different textual forms. Before Donne changed to his Protestant Christian faith in 1601 he believed that the meaning of life was through love. Donne ignores the reality of love and instead writes about what is outside reality, the metaphysical. In 1601 Donne secretly married a young seventeen-year-old girl by the name of Anne More. Donne wrote about how the love between him and his wife would go past this life and travel with them to the afterlife. After her death, Donne wrote “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” which describes his undying love for her. Donne made sure that his audience understood the significance of relationships, through the self-importance of "twin compasses"," thy soul, the fix'd foot", "making my circle perfect". The 17th century context is reflected in the representation of circular perfection which lifts the status of......

Words: 787 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Second World Wa

...who have seen a loved one go to war and tries in this text to give examples of how people are dealing with their problem in different ways. He seems neutral in his way of describing the different characters’ reactions and it means that you as the reader are freer to form your own opinion and interpretations. The two main characters, the fat man and the woman have different ways to handle the grief. The fat man has lost his son to the war, but doesn’t feel the same kind of sorrow like the other people. He is not really sad for his son’s death, but is very proud because his son died while fighting for his country. The fat man speaks from his own experience and thanks God, because his son before dying sent him a message saying: “he was dying satisfied at having ended his life in the best way he could have wished”. Although he talks about, what you should be proud of your child’s going to war, it is only an outer barrier. Anyway his son's death has been very hard on him...

Words: 845 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Paret Rhetoric Analysis

...eventually settling on shorter, simpler sentence structure to suggest a sense of shock and stupefication to the reader. The frank, graphic diction also enhances the pathos of the essay, horrifying and shocking the reader. Figurative language such as imagery also enhances the feeling of loss and regret by comparing the actions in the boxing ring to the life-and-death struggle of a rodent-or even worse, to a vegetable, defenseless even as its head is smashed in. The syntax of the passage contributes greatly to the readers shock because of the way it manipulates time. The syntax first begins to shift at the outset of the fight, alternating between long and short sentence structure to enhance the feeling of speed and intensity. However, when Paret “got trapped in a corner”, the sentence structure becomes longer, including many fragments in one sentence to accentuate the slowness of the event-almost as if time is stopped entirely. Paret’s death is then recounted using short, fragmented sentence structure in order to provide stark contrast to the previous paragraph-to symbolize the transition from the fight for survival toward death. The sentence structure also conveys the shock of the situation with short, simple sentences. Diction is used to draw emotion from the reader. The passage uses words such as “maulings” to not only demonstrate the dangers of boxing, but also to trigger an emotional response from the reader; dogs maul, people do not. In this sense, the......

Words: 514 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Hamlet Essay

...character. Some see him as noble and heroic, while others accept Hamlet’s evaluation of himself as proud, revengeful and ambitious. The one thing all scholars unanimously agree upon is that Hamlet is a multi-faceted individual who is, while noble, also arrogant, revengeful and ambitious. This is the dilemma that Rosenberg (1992) feels lies behind the drama and puzzle of Hamlet which in turn makes choosing a character that can adequately play Hamlet’s role very difficult: “There have been gentle Hamlets, fierce hamlets, intellectual Hamlets, passionate hamlets, sophisticated Hamlets, naïve Hamlets, melancholy Hamlets; spirited Hamlets, and more” (Rosenberg,1992) each trying to capture and create the perfect Hamlet. Not only must actors adapt Hamlet’s character to their own, and, therefore, the individual perceives Hamlet according to his own image, but the actors themselves have a difficult time interpreting the intent of Hamlet’s actions. Rosenberg (1992) observes that “in every single scene in which Hamlet appears… choices must be made.” Why, for instance, did Hamlet withdraw from killing Claudius in the prayer scene; why do his objectives shift from returning at once to Wittenberg? The diversity of Hamlets character affects his ability to properly rule his country. He needs to not be so focused on his personal life. Hamlet is a very multi-faceted person who is noble but is too proud, revengeful and ambitious. Thus it is his downfall and prolongs his countries turmoil. ......

Words: 1394 - Pages: 6