Death Be Not Proud is Among metaphysical poets, that was written by John Donne he enjoys the reputation of having written about love and God in an unconventional manner.

A man of deep learning, he was able to provide unusual arguments, based on numerous sciences, to support his idea. The result is that his poems appear more to be a long argument in favor of something than a mere record of experience.

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In the present poem, John Donne demolishes the well-known idea about the powers of death. Death is supposed to terminate human life in great pain, and it discriminates not between the rich and the poor, the king and the subject. It, therefore, creates fear in everybody.

Death Be Not Proud Essay

To the poet, however, this idea of the great uncontrolled power of death seems to be entirely wrong. He rather believes that death can only bring rest and sleep which should provide man peace and pleasure”.

It also provides the release of the soul from the captivity of the body. Both these ideas are equally well known, but Donne uses them so comprehensively as to create a new idea that death could provide relief from pain and an opportunity for the soul to meet God.

In either case Dome intentions to remove the sense of fear created by death. The second argument that Dome uses thoroughly demoralizes death he says that kings, desperate men, that is Criminals and enemies, and fate use death as a means of fulfilling their aims.

In this case, death is the slave of such people, not the invincible power that it is thought of. He uses another clever argument to suggest the meanness of death by showing that its companions are poison, war, and disease.

Such an association can never dignify the status of death. In the last the poet speaks of eternal wakefulness that follows death- he means by this release of the soul from the traps of the world and a closeness to God.

It is therefore a state of freedom that it leads to and in dying actually defeats the purpose of death. Written in the form of a sonnet the poem does not have its grace and charm.


John Donne rather invests it with intellectual flavor, part of which comes from history and contemporary politics. The reference to war and disease reminds us of the imperialistic wars that continued in Europe in Donne’s age.

The poem is remarkable for the use of paradoxes through which a quick change of ideas is achieved.

Saurabh Nissa

B.A.  English Summary

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