The poet turns the tables by stating the flea was innocent for it took just a drop of blood from her. He points out the fact that what he asks of his mistress is a little thing.
The plea takes the form of three patterned stanzas of rhymed, generally iambic pentameter verse. In this case, the conceit is the flea, which has bitten both the poet and his would-be lover, and drunk the blood from both their bodies.
Stanza Three His mistress is now cruel for she not only denies him but she also perpetuates the murder of an innocent flea.
The speaker of the poem has no scruples in saying that loss of virginity before marriage is no sin even though the religion and society of the day intoned so. And if Eve does taste the fruit, will she alone be the fallen or cause of the fall this time around too? Thus, even the Devil can court scripture to suit his purposes.
The flea just took a few drops of blood from her and if she were to give up her honour to him she would be losing just that much and no more. This flea is you and I, and this Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is. Had she been a willing mistress she would have been a scandal but as a coy one she has poems flung at her feet.
Try reading the poem out loud until you get it. Repetition is a rhetorical device.
The suggestion is that sex would not only be a minor thing, were she to allow it, but a significant thing if they were to deny themselves it — for the flea, he argues, is themselves and destroying it would be to destroy their relationship.
The entire section is words.
The rhyme scheme in each stanza is similarly regular, in couplets, with the final line rhyming with the final couplet: John Donne Study Guide. Thus, the woman is looked at through the eyes of a man.
In conclusion, this is first and foremost a tender love poem — with a difference! The flea has given them a chance of union even though parental consent is unavailable to their match.
The flea "swells with one blood made of two. In this stanza he is asking his partner to consider how insignificant these acts are in terms of the flea, and how small a thing sex is for her to withhold from him: Though use make you apt to kill me, Let not to that self-murder added be, And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.
Learn what it means here. It is true, he says, and it is this very fact that proves that her fears are false: The phrase also refers to intercourse, a common event in the lives of newlyweds. In the third stanza, Donne shifts the argument cleverly but illogically. This poem uses the image of a flea that has just bitten the speaker and his beloved to sketch an amusing conflict over whether the two will engage in premarital sex.
Why not enjoy a physical i. Though use make you apt to kill me, Let not to that, self-murder added be, And sacrilege, three sins in killing three. Here is the poem, followed by a short summary and analysis of it. Unlock This Study Guide Now Start your hour free trial to unlock this 8-page The Flea study guide and get instant access to the following: Stanza Two Clearly the lady now intends to do away with the flea and is in the act of killing it when the poet beseeches her to stay her hand.
Cruel and sudden, hast thou since Purpled thy nail, in blood of innocence? Fleas neither enjoy nor woo; humans do. O stay, three lives in one flea spare, Where we almost, yea, more than married are.
The speaker is trying to persuade.“The Flea” is made up of three nine-line stanzas following an aabbccddd rhyme scheme. He begins the poem by asking the young woman to “Mark this flea” (line 1) which has bitten and sucked blood from both himself and her.
He says the flea represents the joining of their blood, as in marriage. If she squashes the flea, she will be killing herself, the speaker, and, oh-by-the-way, committing sacrilege against the institution of marriage.
The flea is the main metaphor/character in the poem, symbolizing the union between the man and the woman, the other two subjects of the poem, who are inferior to the power that the flea holds upon them and their union, whether intimate or otherwise.
Metaphor: The flea "swells with one blood made of two." There's a certain part of the male body that swells when it engages in the activity to which the speaker of the poem alludes. There's a certain part of the male body that swells when it engages in the activity to which the speaker of the poem alludes.
A summary of “The Flea” in John Donne's Donne’s Poetry. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Donne’s Poetry and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. The poem, The Flea by John Donne is one of the best lyrics of Donne’s poems. Flea was a very popular subject for ribald and amatory poetry during the Renaissance.
Flea was a very popular subject for ribald and amatory poetry during the Renaissance.Download