"The Flea" Essay

864 words - 3 pages

Power of a womanTraditionally women had always taken a subordinate role to men. They have been viewed as merely sexual objects. Historically when men wanted to have sexual intercourse with women, they were not able to refuse or else they would be abused. At times, they would be raped. In the poem, "The Flea", John Donne shows how the man has taken the subordinate role by drawing the woman to have sex with him, and she constantly refuses showing that the final decision of having intercourse is hers. Moreover, he shows that men need women in their lives to nurse them because without them they will go insane. In the poem there is an indication that John wants her to take care of him as much as he wants to have sex with her. In line three it says, "Me it sucked first, and now sucks thee" (Donne 3). The word sucked here represents an important thing. A baby sucks on her mother's breasts showing that he or she needs to be nursed. Hence, the fact that he was sucked first shows that he needed her nursing as much as the sexual pleasure. He wants to suck on her breasts and lips indicating the pleasure he wants. It shows his weakness that he needs to be sucked. Line five says, "what cannot be said"(Donnie 5). According to Mansour, this refers to a sin or shame (Mansour1). When people do a sin or shame, they derive pleasure from it. For example having sex without being married brings pleasure but it is a sin. There is a correlation between these lines. As much as he wants to have sex with her, he wants to be taken care by her. Furthermore, she is taking the dominant role because she does not allow it. Mansour also states, "revealing his deeply hidden sense of identity and gender"(Mansour 2). This means that he is showing his reality. Men are assumed to be those that do not need women to help them. This shows that in reality his male true form came out. He is helpless without her.C.S Lewis displays the fact that the woman is taking the leading role in the poem. He says, "the narrator has clearly been attempting unsuccessful to seduce a lady" (Lewis 709). She has rejected his advances, remonstrating that sex for them would be a sin, a shame, and for her a loss of virginity. In the poem it says "A sin, or shame, or loss of maidenhead"(Donne 5-6). Her refusal shows that she is the boss. She is not giving him what he wants representing her dominance. He is portrayed...

Find Another Essay On "the flea"

The Flea and The Sun Rising

1640 words - 7 pages The metaphysical era in poetry started in the 17th century when a number of poets extended the content of their poems to a more elaborate one which investigated the principles of nature and thought. John Donne was part of this literary movement and he explored the themes of love, death, and religion to such an extent, that he instilled his own beliefs and theories into his poems. His earlier works, such as The Flea and The Sunne Rising, exhibit

Seduction in John Donne's The Flea

1193 words - 5 pages Seduction in John Donne's The Flea Poetry is not only a brilliant form of expression, but also a powerful tool for persuasion. The renowned metaphysical poet John Donne uses the genre for this very purpose in “The Flea,” a work in which he encourages a young woman to have premarital sex with him. Donne backs his argument by referring to a flea that has sucked his own blood as well as his lover’s. In the first stanza Donne

Explication of John Donne's The Flea

1167 words - 5 pages On the surface, John Donne’s poem “The Flea” dramatizes the conflict between two people on the issue of premarital sex, however, under the surface, the poem uses religious imagery to seduce the woman into having sex. The speaker in this poem is a man, who is strategically trying to convince a woman to have premarital sex with him through the conceit based on a flea, however, the coy lady has thus far yielded to his lustful desires. The

Analysis of John Donne's Poem, The Flea

1433 words - 6 pages The Flea John Donne’s poems are similar in their content. They usually point out at same topics like love, lust, sex and religion; only they are dissimilar in the feelings they express. These subjects reflect the different stages of his life: the lust of his youth, the love of his married middle age, and the piety of the latter part of his life. His poem,’ The Flea’ represents the restless feeling of lust during his youthful days but it comes

The Central Conceit it John Donne's "The Flea"

986 words - 4 pages Much debate has arisen over the years about the moral suitability of taking part in sexual intercourse before being married to your true love. In John Donne's “The Flea” this topic is brought up when the speaker of the poem is trying to convince his addressee to partake in sexual intercourse with him although they are not married, by showing her that the act would be no more sinful or shameful than the bite of a flea. He uses the flea as a

Sexuality in "To His Coy Mistress" and "The Flea"

891 words - 4 pages occupied with sex than past generations, but, that this generation lacks the finesse that was an essential component in the art of seduction for generations past. Furthermore, seduction has been the game most played throughout the centuries, as males endeavor to convince or entice the fairer sex to share their beds. As an example, consider Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress" as well as Donne's "The Flea," the speakers make a sinful proposal, which is

Love in To His Coy Mistress and The Flea

2847 words - 11 pages Love in To His Coy Mistress and The Flea Both 'To His Coy Mistress', by Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) and 'The Flea', by John Donne (1572-1631) present different attitudes to love. Both are also structured very differently and occasionally use contrasting imagery. Each poem was written in the 17th century, just after the Renaissance. The poets were metaphysical poets. Although the 'metaphysic' was originally a derogatory

Poetry Comparison on The Flea and To His Coy Mistress

1169 words - 5 pages Poetry Comparison on The Flea and To His Coy Mistress I would firstly like to begin on 'The Flea'. This poem is about a man that is trying to persuade a woman to have sex with him, by symbolically using a flea. The content of the poem is very much the same throughout the whole of the poem. In the first stanza, the poet is basically talking about how the flea represents their coming together and in the last two

How does John Donne represent the art of seduction in the poem "The Flea"? - project

329 words - 2 pages How does John Donne represent the art of seduction in the poem ‘The Flea’? The poem has a regular structure with three stanza’s which each have nine lines where they all have a regular rhyming scheme. This connotes that the love between the two people are affectionate as John delivers the love as “one blood made of two... more than we would do”. This tells the reader that John wants to be with the woman for lust and not for love. This is also

Comparing The Long Love That in My Thought Doth Harbor and The Flea

966 words - 4 pages Comparing Wyatt’s The Long Love That in My Thought Doth Harbor and Donne’s The Flea        Every century has its own poetry; poetry has its own personality and aspects, especially love poems.  In the sixteenth century, poems about love were more about the court than the lover.  In the next century (the seventeenth), the poems of love were more about courting the lover.  An author

Porphyrias Lover, My Last Duchess and The Flea all have the theme of

741 words - 3 pages Porphyrias Lover, My Last Duchess and The Flea all have the theme of love in them Porphyrias Lover, My Last Duchess and The Flea all have the theme of love in them. But they are not all the same theme of love for example Porphyrias Lover is obsessive and seductive love whereas; The Flea is more like sexual love. Robert Browning writes both Porphyrias Lover and My Last Duchess and John Donne writes The Flea. I think Porphyrias Lover and

Similar Essays

The Flea Essay

771 words - 3 pages The Flea Donne's poem “The Flea” appears to be a love poem, a dedication from a male suitor to his lady of honor, who repudiates to yield to his lustful desires. In this poem, the speaker tries to seduce a young woman by comparing the consequences of their lovemaking with those of an insignificant fleabite. He uses the flea as an argument to exemplify that the physical relationship he desires is not in itself a momentous event, because a

John Done's The Flea Essay

1980 words - 8 pages When one thinks about a flea, an array of images and ideas come to mind. Some might reminisce on a childhood pet, while for others a flea may evoke thoughts of something more sinister, such as widespread disease; however, one topic that is presumably not at the top of the average person’s list of subjects immediately linked to fleas is premarital sex between two young lovers. Although by conventional standards a flea is worlds away from being a

Johne Donne's The Flea Essay

1093 words - 4 pages “The Flea” John Donne observes a typical bar, every Saturday night sweat drenched bodies emitting alcohol and pheromones from every pore, exchange conversation, pleasantries, and yes even sex (perhaps not directly in view but certainly eluded to). Is this animalistic, barbaric behavior acceptable? Should sex be taken so lightheartedly? Or do we take it too seriously, guarding sex like it was the Holy Grail, or the secret to life itself? These

"The Flea," By John Donne Essay

771 words - 3 pages The poem, "The Flea," by John Donne, is an example of a monologue. However, instead of being a dramatic monologue, it is known as a dramatic lyric. Through the ideas of the speaker being a man, who is addressing his poem to a woman, and the use of the flea, which causes the speaker's words to change as the poem progresses, it can be seen that "The Flea" is a dramatic lyric poem, where the speaker is a man who is attempting to convince a woman to