Poetry Analysis The poem, The Flea by John Donne is perhaps simply the seventeenth centurys version of a commonplace pickup line. However, in todays society it offers a comical and conceivably ingenious if not simply creative method of wooing a fine, honorable lady into your bed. In overview, the poem is set with a young lady and her suitor. Conveniently, just as this gentleman is attempting to convince the object of his affection to sleep with him, a flea comes along and proceeds to bite him. The flea then bites his lady friend and the speaker finds the perfect guise for his argument. He tells the woman that they have already exchanged blood within the little flea, and that an exchange in the form of sex is no less honorable. At the point where Donne begins a new stanza, the speaker has moved beyond talking of the flea as their union and has begun to build an entire world within the flea. This world is one in which their physical love is realized, also with mention of marriage vows. But by the end of this stanza, his ladylove has had enough of her suitors nonsense and somehow threatens to kill the flea. To this, the speaker reacts that killing the flea will carry three sins: murder, for killing his blood; suicide, for killing her own blood, a sacrilege, in going against the union that he deems was meant to be. But, alas, by the third stanza the woman has killed the flea and the gentleman begins to lament. As he complain about what the flea could possibly have done to deserve this, the woman counters by saying that she does not feel remorse for killing the flea, or for that much, their union. The speaker then changes his approach entirely and ends the poem by saying that having sex with him would be no less honorable than killing that flea. Donne uses a variety of methods in order to set the poem the way he wanted. The poem itself is a closed-form poem, with each stanza following the pattern AABBCCDDD. Th…
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