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Essay heading: Difficulties of Identifying Sexual Status in Donne's 'The Flea'
Essay specific features
Issue: Poetry & Poets
Written by: Jimmy Breck-Mc Kye
Date added: June 30, 2009
No of pages / words: 5 / 1226
Was viewed: 0 times
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Essay content:

it may be compared to ‘yielding’) and on the impossibility of doing so (referring to the mistress’ counter-argument, where the flea’s death cannot be equated to the death of man and wife). That is, one might translate the meaning of the climax as: ‘this flea’s death did not kill you, and therefore the flea cannot be identified with us, yet this flea represents us, and so the insignificant death of a flea shows you how insignificant (“little”) my enjoyment of you is for matters of “honor”’...
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Such an argument is obviously a contradiction- he argues at the same time the flea’s capacity and incapacity to represent the woman and husband. Similarly, he insists on the essential privacy of sexuality, repeating and emphasising “marriage” in line 13, by which he figures the domestic space and its objects as defined in primarily erotic terms...
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The Flea Analysis
Because of this, he continues to press on with his argument. Telling her how her fears are unnecessary, and that she would lose just as much honor as when she killed the flea as when she gave herself to him...
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The Flea Analysis
There, he argues, killing the flea was easy, and as you say it hasn't harmed us - well, yielding to me will be just as easy and painless. This poem borrows a lot of religious imagery, because it helps add an aburd authority to the poem, as Donne tries to argue that what they are about to do is not only supported by God, but to not do it would be heretical...
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Whereas Donne's argument revolves around a metaphorical flea. Which as claimed by the speaker, represents his union with the maiden in matrimony, since the flea has taken blood from them both...
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The speaker in "To His Coy Mistress" seems to change his tone of persuasion rapidly from stanza to stanza. At first he is sweet, coming across as a gentleman and overstating how many ages he would spent on a single part of her anatomy "A hundred years should go to praise/Thine Eyes...
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are supurb, Marvell's has a nicer, refined style to it. In To His Coy Mistress and The Flea, there is an exemplification of just how crafty men can be during the hunt...
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It is true, he says, and it is this very fact that proves that her fears are false: If she were to sleep with him ("yield to me"), she would lose no more honor than she lost when she killed the flea...
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