What is the subject matter of the poem Death, Be Not Proud by John Donne?

Asked on by rozh

1 Answer | Add Yours

thanatassa's profile pic

thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

"Death, be not proud" by John Donne is a poem about the fear of death, written from a Christian perspective. It is therefore considered one of Donne's "Holy Sonnets", and it has a strong religious moral. As many of Donne's sonnets, it uses extensive metaphor and figurative language to make an argument. The poem is cast as a direct speech to Death, who is personified in the poem as proud and boastful. It argues presents reasons why Death should not be proud, first that death is slave to chance, second that other things can lead to death-like affects, and that finally "death, thou shalt die" -- that even death himself is mortal because after the Last Judgement all humans shall have eternal life. Thus people should not fear death, because "One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally."


We’ve answered 319,857 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question