John Donne's Songs and Sonnets by John Donne

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Show how "The Flea" is a metaphysical poem by John Donne?

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Metaphysical poetry is characterized by its conceits, extended metaphors that often compare two very unlike things (they are stranger or more unusual than metaphors typically are), and by its argument-like structure. Even though a central conceit may introduce a strange comparison, the poet attempts to use logic to explain or illustrate his ideas. This is definitely the case in John Donne's "The Flea." 

In "The Flea," Donne's speaker tries to persuade a woman to sleep with him before they are married. This would've been riskier for her than for him, since a woman's reputation would be ruined if...

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The entire poem is driven by one comprehensive 'metaphysical conceit' and that is organized around this tiny and trifling object of the insect. It bites both the beloved and the lover and just because in its body, the blood of the two unite, the failed lover tries to convince his unwilling and indifferent beloved that the body of the flea is like their marriage bed where the love is already consummated.

Under the circumstances rather than killing the little flea and doing a crime, it is better for her to respect its unifying function and accept him as her lover.

Apart from the far-fethed and conceitful use of the flea symbolism, all its effects like---the tone of ironic wit, a satirical undercutting of romantic love, the argumentative structure of the poem, the combination of levity and seriousness--all these things make Donne's The Flea, a remarkable and representative Metaphysical poem.

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