Death Be Not Proud Analysis | John Donne’s ‘death, be not proud’ (or holy sonnet X)

Death Be Not Proud Analysis: “Death, be not Proud” or “Sonnet X” is a fourteen-line poem written by John Donne, and it is also known as Sonnet X. this poem was written between February and August of the year 1609 and was first published posthumously in 1633.

With Death, be not Proud, the speaker insults an adversary, Death exemplified. This foe is one most dread, yet in this poem, the speaker basically reprimands him. How the speaker converses with Death uncovers that he isn’t anxious about Death and doesn’t believe that Death ought to be so certain about himself thus pleased.

Students can also check the English Summary to revise with them during exam preparation.

The sure tone of Death, be not Proud, and the direct conflict of Death gives an amusing feeling of solace to the readers by certainly proposing that Death isn’t to be dreaded by any means, yet that eventually, Death will be overwhelmed by something much more noteworthy.

Analysis of “Death, be not Proud” or “Holy Sonnet X”

Lines 1 to 2

“Death, be not proud, though some have called thee.

Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;

Donne converses with death as though it is an individual. Additionally, Donne utilizes the abstract strategy of “apostrophe” to commute home his point. Punctuation happens when an essayist tends to a subject who can’t react. Readers quickly realize that this work will comprise one speaker who will do the entirety of the talking and blaming for his subject.

Death, however, enough personified, can’t react to the accusations of the speaker. One thinks that Death has the force (“might”) to do horrible (“dreadful”) things. Yet, the speaker isn’t apprehensive. He strolls straight up to Death and gives him some appropriately harsh criticism.

It’s tremendously gutsy for the speaker to be telling this person – who scares everybody – what to do. The speaker orders Death not to be glad and afterward says that individuals are mixed up regarding Death as some fearsome being.

Line 3 to 4

“For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow

Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.

Death feels that he has the ability to kill individuals, yet he really doesn’t. Donne utilizes “overthrow” rather than “kill” in line 3 – an intriguing decision since individuals ordinarily utilize the word with regards to “overthrow” a ruler and assuming responsibility for his domain. Readers notice how there’s a decent emotional delay made by the line break between “overthrow” and “die,” as though the speaker allows Death to enjoy killing.

To make things seriously embarrassing, the speaker begins to show his pity by tending to “poor Death,” as though Death just had his fantasies squashed and now needs a few brightening up. Yet, hang on: it appears to be absolutely ludicrous to say that Death doesn’t execute individuals. That is the thing that makes Death!

Donne utilizes the possibility of Christian forever to contend that death is a thing that individuals go through on their way to another, unceasing life. A decent Christian should encounter death – the finish of life on earth – however, over the long haul, he or then again, she can’t be “killed.”

Line 5 to 6

“From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,

Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,

With these lines, the speaker analyzes passing to “rest and sleep” and even uses “pleasure” to depict how one should feel about death. Similarly, as a relaxing evening of rest brings delight, so should death. The speaker infers that rest is basically a little look at Death. In this manner, there isn’t anything to fear in death, for death will bring something like a pleasurable rest.

Line 7 to 8

“And soonest our best men with thee do go,

Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.

Lines 7 and 8 at that point recommend that it is the best individuals on earth who regularly bite the dust most punctual, maybe implying that God has picked them for their award of wonderful everlasting life.

Line 8 alters the possibility of death as rest by explaining that the speaker plans the correlation with the physical body. The “bones” of the “best men” are their physical selves—their “corporality”— and it is just these that are laid to rest in death.

“Bones” is, in this manner, a synecdoche for the human body. In a more strict sense, however, bones are without a doubt all that stays after a body goes through the cycles of rot that accompany death; for the speaker, bones are the lifeless extras of life on earth—however, life on earth isn’t what’s essential to this sonnet.

The “soul’s delivery”— the appearance in eternity—supports the sonnet’s whole contention. Death is actually a type of change from a brief life to endless life. The sonnet plays on this, with “delivery” indicating a sort of birth instead of death.

Lines 9 to 10

“Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,

And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,

Here, the speaker takes on a more grounded tone and starts to insult Death with more savagery than he did from the outset. Here, he considers Death a captive to “chance, kings, and desperate men”.

He reveals to Death that he isn’t strong and terrifying, yet rather a helpless slave who can’t follow up on his own yet is driven by destiny and possibility. Yet, also by individuals, rich and poor alike”. He at that point blames Death for having humble friends, for example, “poison, war, and sickness”.

He has provoked Death, disclosing that he isn’t to be dreaded, but instead that he is a captive to the desire of destiny and men and that as a modest slave, his mates are the significantly lowlier creatures like affliction and war.

These allegations serve to permit the readers to feel a feeling of force and triumph over Death. The speaker absolutely feels authority over Death, and he gives this inclination to his readers when he takes care of Death by patronizing him.

Line 11 to 12

“And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well

And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?

The speaker keeps on provoking Death considerably more, saying that all he brings is a little rest, and he doesn’t do that just like some other carriers of rest, for example, “poppy” or “charms”.

This examination further depicts Death as something powerless, yet even pleasurable. The speaker addresses Death, asking, “why swell’st thou then?” He is asking him for what good reason he is so puffed up proudly when he can’t tackle his work, too as others can.

Line 13 to 14

“One short sleep past, we wake eternally

And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die

The ending couplet summarizes the circumstance wonderfully. A human’s death is nevertheless a short rest, for they’ll awaken and go on always, liberated from Death. A definitive affront – Death itself will hence be dead.

This last nail in the final resting place recommends that Death itself is alive and is intelligently dependent upon its own demise, from the Christian viewpoint. As from a rest, the speaker will awaken and won’t need to go through the perishing cycle again, ever.