Literary Devices In Death Be Not Proud

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The first half of “Death be not proud” by John Donne is a viewpoint of death being perceived as “mighty and dreadful” (2) and then transitions into the speaker taunting death to counter those perspectives. The speaker sounds confident and arrogant when he says, “death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die”. His use of personifying death as a person and his choice of diction makes death seem peaceful and the opposite of powerful. When closely observed many literary devices and comparisons are used alongside the structure of the poem to reveal the speaker’s objective. Although, at first sight of the poem the speaker is talking to death implicitly, he wants the reader to see death through visual language and metaphors to change our outlook and see death in a new way as more pleasurable.
The rhyme scheme in the poem suggests a new way we can see death. Throughout the entire poem, the end rhyme scheme is consistent as “ABBAABBA” “thee / so / overthrow / me” (1-4). The end rhyme scheme in the last two lines are “eternally / die” (13-14). These two words are eye rhymes because when we look at them they sound alike but it is pronounced differently so they do not rhyme. It may seem like death will go on forever just because of the eye rhyme but when we look closer
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If the words “eternally / die.” (13-14) are the chosen words that do not follow the rhyme scheme and stand out it is because the speaker of the poem chose those words to be significant. Usually, when eternally and die are put together there is an emphasis on the idea of eternal life after death. The speaker may have wanted the reader to see death as insignificant because death will come to an end at one point and eternal life will take over. Showing that eternal life takes over death changes our perspective on death as not being powerful and moves our point of view to more pleasant ideas such as eternal

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