Get your essays here, 33,000 to choose from!

Limited Time Offer at Free College Essays!!!

Parasites And Pick-Up Lines; Sophistry In John Donnes “The Flea“

2 Pages 529 Words

Parasites and Pick-Up Lines;
Sophistry in John Donnes’ “The Flea”

Rejoice! For at long last, that humblest and most useless of insects, the bloodsucking flea, has found its’ purpose in life through poetry. John Donnes’ “The Flea” demonstrates that former presidents and politicians are not the only men who manipulate language to suit their own ends. Indeed, the use of sophistry as a tool of seduction is an ancient art, and Donne, through his speaker in this piece, uses it more than any other poet in this section.
“The Flea” is more than a run of the mill love poem. It is an ingeniously clever, if not downright devious attempt to woo a lady of high station into bed. In the piece, a young suitor is trying, in vain, to wangle a romp in the sheets from his ladylove. He is struck with inspiration when a flea, out for a late night snack, bites him, then bounds away to take a nibble from the object of his pursuit. He points out that their blood is now mingled in the flea, and no sin has occurred, has it? Taking his specious arguments even farther, the amorous youth tries to convince his skeptical love that climbing into bed together would only be an extension of what has already occurred, and no dishonor could possibly result.
As the next stanza unfolds, Donnes’ speaker climbs to new heights of casuistic creativity. The hapless flea becomes a symbol of married union, and their mixed blood a symbol of the child that could result. The chamber the where the tête-à-tête occurs magically transforms into wedding chapel and honeymoon suite, in one convenient package. As the doubtful lady seemingly contemplates killing the flea, and with it symbolically squashing the notion of giving the speaker satisfaction, he begs her not to kill the creature. In doing so, he claims, she would not only be committing (not unjustified) murder, but also suicide, as the flea carries her blood, but also (dare ...

Page 1 of 2 Next >

Essays related to Parasites And Pick-Up Lines; Sophistry In John Donnes \“The Flea\“