Donne's approach at alluring the woman is unusual at first glance--it seems as though he is trying too hard to win her over by talking about an insignificant insect such as a flea. A flea is a parasite that spreads infectious diseases in animals. Yet in his poem, the flea sucks his blood and then the woman's blood, and the two are then mixed into one creature and therefore symbolizing their `marriage.' "It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,/ And in this flea our two bloods mingled be" (lines 3-4). The flea symbolizes the harmony between him and his ladylove. Blood is the river of life and the essence of what all humans are made of. To have her blood with his mixed together reaches a depth that Donne never thought of before--he feels a deep affection for her and an underlying oneness with the woman--and because he feels thi...
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...eings evidence love as a genuine affection, they are no longer self-centered. On the contrary, their love signifies the most desirable spirit of self-sacrifice." (Ch. 6, Sexual Ethics in Islam and in the Western World) Knowing this it's plausible to conclude that both Donnes' and Marvells' ideas of `love' were actually self-centered for the sake of fulfilling their primal instincts. Also, both poets twist the woman's hesitance to make it seem like the women are hurting them by refusing their respective offers. Both poets' view on love were not "most desirable spirit of self sacrifice" instead the women that they addressed were urged to sacrifice their "coyness" for the sake of the man. True human love goes beyond the surface of a person; it goes into the depths of their soul and the abyss of their heart; it leaves a trace that transcends all material boundaries.
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