Death is Sleep

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"One short sleep past, we wake enternally" (Holy Sonnets, Line 13).  To fully understand this line of the poem, the reader must know a little bit about early Christian theology.  Back then, Christians like Saint Paul believed that death was just a form of sleep.  The "sleep" itself was a waiting period until Christ came back on Earth.  They believed that when he back, Christ would ressurect all those who believed in him, and gave his faithful people new bodies that were free from disease, hunger, and death.  This defintion of death is still held many Christian chruchs.

 

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3 Comments

Kaitlin Monier said:

That is interesting, I did not think to compare this to Christian views on death. It does seem as though this sonnet relates to the Christian views.

Juliana Cox said:

Wow! I never knew that about Christian theories and it gives a new outlook to the sonnet. So I guess this is why Donne wrote "...we wake eternally"(13) because of the Christian background of believing Christ would come and take them to the afterlife. I enjoyed your insight!

Ethan this was insightful - I didn't know that about the churches - thanks for sharing!

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Kaitlin Monier on Death is Sleep: That is interesting, I did not