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Anlyze and Explain the "flea" poem?

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snowflakes | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 17, 2010 at 11:08 PM via web

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Anlyze and Explain the "flea" poem?

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 17, 2010 at 11:49 PM (Answer #1)

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The poem The Flea presents us with two lovers who have been bitten by a flea. In his own naturalistic and existentialist way, John Donne places the male character telling his beloved woman that, since the flea bit both of them and sucked their blood, the flea is literally "carrying" the both of them inside, and that now they are finally combined, mix, intermingled, and basically married inside of the belly of the flea.  Since the woman wants to kill the flea, the man says it would be a crime to do so, and that she would be killing their "union" and themselves.  She does kill the flea in the end, for which he says a form of elegy in the pain that he feels about its ending.

In terms of form, the poem shows a metric pattern of iambic tetrameter and iambic pentameter. Its genre is existentialist, particularly for picking the most unlikely of symbols to represent love, and unity: A flea. The poem also has erotic undertones in asking the woman to consider that they are already "married", hence, they could share a bed, although this is not clear in the story. You can also agree that the poem makes a good effort at humor, although it does still preserve the main idea of love and romance as a main idea.

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tipputhyagarajan | Student , Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted June 21, 2010 at 8:20 PM (Answer #2)

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IN THIS POEM WE ALSO FIND THROUGH A FEMINIST POINT OF VIEW THAT THE POET HAS AN OVER POWERING DESIRE TO GET THE BETTER OF HIS BELOVED AND THE DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE SUGGESTS THE STRONG IMPACT OF THE ABSENT LISTNER

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