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Analysis Of The Author John Donne, “The Flea” (Research Paper Sample)


For this assignment, you must make an argument about the work of one of the authors we have read this semester in class in relation to the literary work(s) we have read. Your paper must include the following elements:

1. A specific clear arguable thesis statement in which you make a claim about the author and the main idea in his/her work. Your thesis should draw a conclusion about the author based on what you have read. Think of this paper as an argument driven by your interpretation and analysis of the author's work rather than a report. Your thesis will be supported by examples from that author's work. (See 12.)

2. A short analysis of 1-2 literary works by the author (2-3 pages total). These analyses should be used to support your thesis statement. Use them to show a pattern or recurring idea you have noticed in your author's work. In your analyses, use quotations and citations to refer to specific details about the text(s).

3. Evidence of outside research. You must find three substantive secondary sources, all of which are quoted and cited in the paper. SparkNotes, eNotes, and Shmoop do not count as acceptable sources. Rather, you should be looking for academic journal articles, books, biographies, interviews, etc. You may use online sources, including online lectures, podcasts, or other forms of media, so long as they are substantive and of good academic quality. The poems, short stories, etc. also do not count toward these three sources. If you use information from Wikipedia, you should cite it (see Writer's Help for details about how to do this). However, Wikipedia will not count toward your three required sources: if you use Wikipedia, you will still need to find (and cite) three other secondary sources.


Student's Name
Analysis of the Author John Donne, “The Flea”
John Donne was a great author and poet whose works only became famous long after his death in 1631. All his works have been noted to involve a lot of wits. His major literary works include The Flea, The Sun Rising and The Canonization. However, all his other works are still considered great and influential including, The Good-Morrow, A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning, Go and Catch a Falling Star, The Ecstasy, and To His Mistress Going to Bed. One of his famous poems “The Flea”, Donne fancifully describes physical love and its true natural nature. The persona in the poem tries to use seduction as a way of winning the affection of the woman he is attracted to. He argues that since his and her blood have already mingled within the flea's body after it sucked both of them then they have every reason to engage in sexual intercourse as a way of mingling their bodies. In the poem “The Sun Rising”, the sun is chastised by the persona for interfering with the romantic moment he is having in bed with his lover. He does not like the idea that they are forced to rise because the sun is peeping at them through the curtains on a morning. The third poem “The Canonization” revolves around the idea that love is the means by which lovers are sanctified. There is a belief that for those who are in love, this love becomes their religion. John Donne is regarded as one of the most renowned metaphysical poets whose works center on raw life and uses conceit as a means of exploring the spirituality, sexual relationships, and satire in life. These ideas are evident across all his works.
Literary Analysis
In order to understand better the character of John Donne and his highly praised writings, it is best to delve into an analysis of three of his most famous works “The Flea”, The Sun Rising” and “The Canonization.” In the first poem “The Flea”, the speaker argues that he and his love-interest should make love given that a flea had mixed their blood after sucking both of them. The poem is an ideal proof of Donne's wit as he uses an elaborate metaphor to illustrate what love really is. He feels that since the flea did not give anything in order for it to enjoy sucking their blood, then he too should be granted the opportunity to freely enjoy the sexual favors. He goes ahead to paint the flea in holy light in the second stanza when he says, “this flea is you and I, and this/Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is” (lines 12-13). By referring to this, the persona tries to reason with the lady in question that the flea has already united them in a holy and spiritual union, therefore there is no harm with them making love to each other. However, the woman chooses to kill the flea but the persona realizing that this will weaken their bond tries to stop her. He tells the woman, “let not to that self-murder added be” (line 17). By saying this, he implies that murdering the flea that contained their blood would mean she was killing them too. Despite his attempts, the persona fails in the end as the woman crushes the flea in order to free them from whatever bond there is between them.
The second poem, “The Sun Rising” speaks of two lovers who are intruded by the sun while laying down on the bed of the persona after a night of lovemaking. The persona does not like this intrusion and insults the sun by calling it “an old fool” (line 1). In true fashion of a metaphysical poet, Donne outrageously claims that his lover is more important to the universe unlike the intruding sun. His idea of making the sun appear weak and powerless is somet...

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