John His father is a merchant and

April 16, 2019 Religion

John Donne was born on 1572. Their family is a devout Catholic during a strong anti-Catholic period in England. His father is a merchant and his mother is a grand-niece of a Catholic martyr. Religion plays a huge role in his life and it has affected most of his writings. His father died in 1576 and his mother remarried a wealthy widower. He studied in Oxford University and later on University of Cambridge but he never received any degree because of his Catholic faith. In 1593, his brother has been imprisoned and soon after died because of their faith. Since then, Donne questioned his faith. In 1601, he became a Member of Parliament. In that same year, he also married his wife, Anne More, who was 16 years old then. Her father strongly disagreed of their marriage and didn’t give them a dowry and he also imprisoned Donne. 8 years after Donne’s release from prison was so hard for the couple but later on Anne’s father paid the dowry. John Donne was famous for his metaphysical love poems. But when his wife died after giving birth to their 12th child, the love poems are over. After that, he focused on religious topics and when his health is already failing him, he wrote poems about death. His works were published posthumously.
The England during 17th century is quite vulgar when it comes to describing body parts in poems. But pre-marital sex is such a sin during those times. They do not want courting couples to be molested thus pushing them to marry. That is why women who are at a very young age such as 16 years old are already married by then. John Donne was once a devout Catholic and it has really affected his love poems. Metaphysical poetry is also quite famous during those times. Poets use ordinary subjects to express their thoughts about love, sex or marriage. Most of the times the poems are vulgar that’s why poets do not publish it during their timeline. They just share those kind of poems to their closest friends and family. But Donne being a devout Catholic that he was, relates sex and religion most of the times in the most absurd way. Common people who might have read his works will think that he’s insane and immoral.
The Flea is a love poem about the persona trying to convince his love interest in having sex with him. His love interest is a reserved lady who doesn’t want to have sex with him. When the flea bites the lady, the persona uses it to let the lady know that it has also bitten him thus inside the flea, their bloods are now mingled imitating sex. In the second stanza, the persona insists that the lady spare the flea for it is like the symbol of their union and that killing it would also kill both of them or their relationship. He tells her that killing it will be sinning three times. In the last stanza, the lady finally killed the flea — a sign of rejection. But the persona twisted it again and says that when she killed the flea, nothing happened so they might as well have sex since nothing will also happen after.
During the time that John Donne wrote this poem, sex is taboo in their society. Most of the people are either religious or morally upright. Donne writing this poem in a metaphysical way covers the true meaning of the poem. When society tries to cover the real beauty of sex, Donne makes a way to let the readers know that it’s okay to have sex. Sex inside marriage is beautiful but outside of it, it’s a sin. It is a norm that still exists until now especially in the Philippines. But when we really think of it, people are married at the age of 16 in the 17th century. It could be that the women in those times, being young as they were, doesn’t like the idea of sex even inside marriage because of their innocence. It can be related to the persona begging his partner to make love with him. John Donne also married a 16-year old lady. Maybe this poem is also his personal account about him and his young wife then.
Donne also uses the holy trinity when he said “And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.” When Catholic faith has been overpowered by anti-Catholics, Donne also used this poem as a proof of his loyalty to his religion. Marriage is also a sanctified union. He illustrates this when the flea sucked both of their blood and is now united inside the body of the flea. There are a lot of metaphysical poems that uses ordinary objects in expressing their feelings of love and romance. A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning is also another metaphysical poem by John Donne that uses a compass as illustration.
The Flea is such a beautiful poem. It includes a lot of imagery that can make your imagination work. The art of metaphysical poetry will also inspire you to make one of your own. Although the poem is quite disturbing if you don’t know the history of the time it was written, it is still a beautiful poem that made it famous until now. When I first read it, I admit that I cringed. But as the reporter analyses it, my mind has become more open and found the beauty of the poem on my own. I can say that the persona is still respectful of his lover because he didn’t forced himself to her. Instead, he uses a unique symbol of their love to convince her to make love with him. Even when he has been rejected, he is still witty to use that to convince her more. I’ve learned that metaphysical poetry is a beautiful way to express your romantic side to your lover. Although the message might be vulgar but using metaphysical poetry makes it romantic. I recommend to use the Feministic Approach to study more this poem. It is also another way to let us understand what the lady really feels as the persona delivers the poem.


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