- John Donne uses a layers approach, which is ruthlessly logical in order to get his point across that sex before marriage is harmless "This flea is you and I".
- He introduces the idea of sex with the symbolisation of the "flea".
- This is in order to show how harmless the flea is and how harmless his intentions are too.
- He uses religious arguments in order to legitimise their relationship, "Cloistered". "temple", "marriage" and "sacrilege".
- He tries to get the point across that you can still keep your honour whilst loosing your virginity.
- All in all throughout this poem John Donne is trying to convince this women to have sex with him. He uses a variation of different arguments including religious, sexual, and dramatic. His main aim is to show how sex is just as harmless as a flea bite and that nothing is going to happen once they have sex.
- During the 17th century the idea of sex was that it meant the mingling of blood, just how a the blood mingles inside a flea once it has take blood, this point is central to the argument.
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- "The Flea", is an elaborate metaphor for how insignificant sex is. This analogy is used for effect to offer an argument (logical and intellectual), to prove a point
- Repetition of "mark", in order to warn the women/reader to take note.
- "It ****'d me first, and now ****s thee", suggestive and rude language, talking about the flea. Direct address-coloquial feel minimises voice of persuasion.
- Line 4 is introducing the idea of sex through the flea
- "pamper'd swells", double meaning mixing of blood in flea, and erection
- religious symbolisation "cloistered".
- "Purple thy nail, in blood of innocence?", personification, showing how harmless the idea of their blood mingling is. Along with "Except in that drop which it ****'d from thee?", they are rhetorical questions.
- They are used in order to turn her argument around. He states loss of virginity is no worse then a flea bite. Killing the flea hasn't harmed them...therefore surrendering virginity will be equally painless.
- Persuasive: overcomes coyness through argument
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- An innocent flea, in which blood is mingled "and in this flea. our two bloods mingled be".
- jealousy and regret "we would do", the image we get if that he is fed up of having to explain why they should have sex.
- Dramatic argument- lovers actions are murderous and sacreligious as breaking the holy bond of marriage encapsulates in the flea.
- "****'d" flea ****ing up blood from both the man and women
- The poet is painting a picture that she is trying to "kill me", by not allowing herself to loose her "maidenhead".
- sexual and religious imagery
- The last stanza shows how the women has won and the poet is fed up as he tries to desperately salvage his argument.
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- Cyclical argument- clever almost an intellectual exercise e.g the flea starts and ends as nothing. The poem begins and ends with the argument that surrendering verginity is a trivial matter.
- Rhyme scheme is ABABCCDDD
- Stanza 1 and 2 lady attempts to kill the flea
- Stanza 2 and 3 she attempts again and manages to succeed.
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