Death be not proud

  • Plot: “Death be not proud” presents an argument against the power of death, asserting that those who die actually live an eternal life.
  • Structure & Language Techniques: The poem is a Petrarchan sonnet with a rhyme scheme and uses metaphors, apostrophes, and paradoxes to communicate its theme.
  • Themes & Linking Poems: The themes of mortality, religion (Christian belief in afterlife), and human fear towards death are prevalent throughout Donne’s work.
  • Key Quotes: “Death, be not proud, though some have called thee/Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so” is a voice of defiance towards death and assertion of human dignity.
  • Poet & Context: John Donne was a prominent English poet and preacher of the 17th century, noted for his explorative metaphysical poetry. His religious beliefs deeply inform the content and themes of “Death be not proud”.