Do you fear death?

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Donne, "Death Be Not Proud"

It was so ironic reading this poem because just before I read it, I was randomly looking at quotes and I read the one be Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain."

When I read the last line of this sonnet, I couldn't believe what it said:

"And death shalt be no more, Death thou shalt die."

From this comparison, I got my agenda item for this sonnet. This whole poem is about standing up to death and saying in essence as Rocky did in Rocky IV when he was fighting Drago, "You ain't so bad, is that the best you got?" John Donne is pretty much telling Death off. He tells Death not to get too cocky in the first line. My favorite line is:

9Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men, 10And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell; 11And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
12And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?

He's saying that people are afraid of death but really, fate, chance, kings, and desperate men have power over it. To me this gives me great confidence. In the end, Donne says that we fall asleep and then we wake eternally in heaven, so there really is no negative side to death.

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You're right Andy!

I see Death as a janitor... it's a dirty job but someone gotta do it. Think about where we would be without Death. Just be a bunch of daredevils driving of the Grand Canyon and shot people for laughs. Total chaos! So we should fear death not only because it is natural... it is needed.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy published on February 13, 2006 9:00 PM.

Are we conceited? was the previous entry in this blog.

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