John Donne, a member of metaphysical school in the Seventeenth century, exhibited his brilliant talent in poetry. In "The Flea," he showed the passion to his mistress via persuasive attitude. The tone might straightforwardly create playfulness or sinfulness; yet, the poem contains none of either. What impress readers most is situation and device. The situation between the speaker and the audience is persuasion, love or marriage. As to device, the notable parts are diction and rhetoric skills. Furthermore, unique characteristics of this poem are also an important element of his persuasive tone.
First of all, the situation created by Donne is remarkable. Although there is only one speaker in "The Flea," the poem itself reveals a profound interaction between speaker and audience. Here is an example: "Mark but this flea, and mark in this," (line 1) and "Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare," (line 10). In line one, the poet asked his coy mistress to notice a flea and explain that the flea symbolized the combination of their love. Whereas, when the poem goes on to the first line of the second stanza, the lady ignores Donne's enthusiasm by intending to slay the flea. From the two lines, it shows the female's emotional reaction to Donne's persuasion, which provokes his urge by applying poetic device in the poem.
One of Donne's famous poetic devices is diction. Again in line one and ten appear "Mark" and "Oh stay." These words are denotations of strong causative voice in order to obtain mistress' attention. In addition to diction, another outstanding part is his rhetoric skill. For example, "Me it sucked first, and now sucks thee," (line 3). His using different ...
... middle of paper ...
iv[iv] Helen Gandner, ed., John Donne: A Collection of Critical Essays. (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1962) 47.
Dyson, A. E.. Donne: Songs and Sonnets. Houndmills: Macmillan Education, 1973.
Gandner, Helen, ed. John Donne: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1962.
Larson, Deborah Aldrich. John Donne and Twentieth Century Criticism. Cranbury: Associated University Press, 1989.
Marotti, Arthur F.. John Donne: Coterie Poet. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1986.
Novarr, David. The Disinterred Muse: Donne¡¦s Texts and Contexts. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1980.
Nutt, Joe. John Donne: The Poems. London: Macmillan Press, 1999.
Witherspoon Alexander M., and Warnke Frank J., ed.. Seventeenth Century Prose and Poetry. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1963, 2nd.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Flea by John Donne “The Flea”, a witty poem of seduction and conceit, taken from John Donne’s “Songs and Sonets” is the poem that I have chosen to compare to “Song”, another poem of John Donne’s where he is passionately pleading with his wife not to be disheartened about his departure abroad. Both poems which belong to “ Songs and Sonets”, written around the time of the 16th century, show that their title suggests they are both short poems, following the traditional form of a sonnet, consisting of fourteen lines.... [tags: The Flea John Donne Songs and Sonnets Essays]
2360 words (6.7 pages)
- The Flea by John Donne The situation described in the poem is the narrator trying to persuade his girlfriend to sleep with him. Bearing in mind the social context of the poem, the girl is going to need quite a lot of persuading. This is where the flea comes in. The idea of sex being like a flea is sustained throughout the poem thus making it a sustained metaphor. In the sixteen hundreds, fleas were just a common fact of life. Everybody had them, even rich people. I think it is quite a clever persuasive device to compare something that was such a huge thing in those days, to something which is just a part of everyday life that everyone had to deal with.... [tags: Papers]
705 words (2 pages)
- Love in "To His Coy Mistress", "Shall I Compare Thee," "Let Me Not," and "The Flea" The four poems I am going to be comparing are, “To His Coy Mistress,” “Shall I Compare Thee,” “Let Me Not,” and “The Flea.” All four of these poems are based on the subject matter of love. The four poems have a lot in common but each poem touches a different aspect of love. Two of the poems, “Shall I Compare Thee”, and “Let Me Not”, are sonnets and both were written by Shakespeare. “To His Coy Mistress” is written by Andrew Marvell and “The Flea” was written by John Donne.... [tags: Love Compare Contrast Poetry Essays]
3174 words (9.1 pages)
- Explication of John Donne's The Flea John Donne's, "The Flea," is a persuasive poem in which the speaker is attempting to establish a sexual union with his significant other. However, based on the woman's rejection, the speaker twists his argument, making that which he requests seem insignificant. John Donne brings out and shapes this meaning through his collaborative use of conceit, rhythm, and rhyme scheme. In the beginning, Donne uses the flea as a conceit, to represent a sexual union with his significant other.... [tags: John Donne Flea Essays]
406 words (1.2 pages)
- The poem “The Flea” by John Donne is a funny poem showing that something as small as a flea can be compared to premarital sex. The flea, which is made to seem insignificant throughout the poem, is taken on a “sex” journey without ever even knowing it. The poem maintains one speaker until the end, but interesting enough, has two significant characters: the speaker and his lover. The audience is the speaker’s lover, yet she has a major role that goes beyond listening. While he is trying to convince his female lover to see that her virginity isn’t all that it’s hyped to be (insignificant), he compares a flea to sex in the process.... [tags: Poetry Analysis]
1765 words (5 pages)
- Persuading their Mistresses in The Flea and To His Coy Mistress Examine the ways in which the poets in The Flea and To His Coy Mistress try to persuade their mistresses. Both "The Flea" by John Donne and "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell are seduction poems, written by the poets to seduce their mistresses. Both have three stanzas and a basic couplet rhyming structure. Donne and Marvell are metaphysical poets from the 17th century. They have taken simple ideas and stretched them far - for example, using a flea as a symbol of union.... [tags: The Flea To His Coy Mistress Literature Essays]
4806 words (13.7 pages)
- A Structural and Vocabulary Analysis of John Donne's "The Flea" In his poem "The Flea", John Donne shows his mastery in creating a work in which the form and the vocabulary have deliberately overlapping significance. The poem can be analyzed for the prominence of "threes" that form layers of multiple meanings within its three stanzas. In each of the three stanzas, key words can be examined to show (through the use of the OED) how Donne brilliantly chose them because of the various connotations they had to his audience.... [tags: Poem Poet Poetry Essays John Donne Flea]
1252 words (3.6 pages)
- The Flea by John Donne and To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell "The Flea" by John Donne is written in the 17th century as is "To his coy mistress" by Andrew Marvell. This we can see by the language used which was typical of that period in time "apt to kill me" and "yea" which are taken from the flea. Both poems also speak of virginity being very important, especially before marriage because if a woman had lost her "maidenhead" before, the husband would have the right to leave her without the need for a divorce.... [tags: Flea donne Marvell Mistress Essays]
6628 words (18.9 pages)
- Analysis of the Poem “The Flea” by John Donne Poets have often used symbols to convey deeper messages that they were either too afraid or felt that normal language lacked the power to express. Often when a symbol is used, the reader digs deeper into the issue more than if the message was simply shot out in the open. These symbols and metaphors can be used to portray beautiful things, or could be used to create a more compelling argument in a more subtle way. In the poem “The Flea” by John Donne, the speaker uses clever sexual innuendo and metaphors in an attempt to manipulate a certain girl into losing her virginity to him.... [tags: The Flea John Donne]
476 words (1.4 pages)
- The Flea Donne's poem “The Flea” appears to be a love poem, a dedication from a male suitor to his lady of honor, who repudiates to yield to his lustful desires. In this poem, the speaker tries to seduce a young woman by comparing the consequences of their lovemaking with those of an insignificant fleabite. He uses the flea as an argument to exemplify that the physical relationship he desires is not in itself a momentous event, because a similar unification has already taken place within the flea.... [tags: English Literature Essays]
772 words (2.2 pages)