Figurative Language In Holy Sonnet 10 By John Donne

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In “Holy Sonnet 10,” Donne presents the idea that death has no power over human beings. Even though many people fear death, Donne believes our fears are irrational because death actually has no control over us. To get rid off such fears he may have, Donne bestows his argument and speaks out against death.
He starts with an apostrophe, “Death, be not proud,”(l.1) in which he directly addresses death, a metaphysical thing that cannot respond to him, and makes this the subject of the rest of the poem. He uses figurative language to produce a personified version of death when he addresses it. Instead of beginning in Iambic meter, as the rest of the poem is constructed-where each line starts with an unstressed syllable and then a stressed syllable-Donne starts with a troche (a meter consisting of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one), hinting at the idea that he will throughout the rest of the poem overturn something else- the basic notion that death is fearful. Even though people may think death is “Mighty and dreadful,”(l.2) Donne happens to disagree. He explains that people give death the power it has them selves, and then end up fearing it. He says death actually has no authority and “nor yet canst thou kill me,”(l.4) making it personal by using the word “me.” Donne moves on to say we think death can kill us, but actually it is a just a religious affirmation that every human must experience. Death is really just the means from which people pass on their way to a new,
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After mocking and ridiculing death, to turn around and use the paradox that death itself will die is extremely bold and courageous for Donne. In fourteen lines, Donne has carried out an effective rhetorical attack against the invincibility of death and, at the same time, has declared his faith in an eternal afterlife’s joys that shall outdo the horrors of earthly

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