Holy Sonnet X: Death Be Not Proud


Holy Sonnet X: Death Be Not Proud 

(Death, destiny, fate, resistance, human limitations/weaknesses, power, immortality...) 

  • “Death be not proud.” – Donne is anthropomorphizing Death, adressing him as an inferior and undemining his power. 

  • "Mighty and dreadful", "overthrow", "proud" - Death likes to think he is conquering, vanquishing, defeating, ruining, causing to fall - central metaphor, personification. 
  • "poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.", "thou shalt die"- sarcastic diction choice "poor" applies a patronizing tone, aligning Death as more of an acquaintance other than someone to be feared. Donne uses a paradox to stress the confidence of the speaker, who appears resistant to his own fate/destiny, and enabler of immortal life. Alternatively, Death could also be presented as a tool of resurrection as a Christian, biblical representation provided by the "Holy" conciet of the poem, linking to Donne’s re-switching of religion, returning to Catholic and


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