Rhapsody Workbook Answers Poem 10 Death Be Not Proud
Death Be Not Proud Poem Long Answer Questions
In what way can “Death, he Not Frond” he called a religious poem?
“Death Be Not Proud” is taken from Donne’s book of Holy Sonnet No. 10. This poem is a religious poem as it deals with the immortality of the souls. All the religious Christians believe in the immortality of the souls. In the poem, the poet says that death has no power over the soul. It can kill only our bodies. After the death, the soul becomes immortal and will wake up eternally in the heaven.
Death cannot conquer soul rather it is the soul that conquers death. So Donne considers death as a poor thing as it is helpless and powerless. By calling it poor the poet actually pities death for its vulnerability and effectiveness. He further says that death is neither terrible nor powerful. Death is only a form of rest and sleep which gives us more pleasure. Again the poet describes death as a slave of fate, chance, kings, and desperate men. It lives in the bad company of power, war and sickness.
It cannot function or work on its own. It is dependent on the agents such as poison, war and fate to put an end of a person’s life. Therefore it is powerless and should not be proud for killing a person. It is death which itself is conquered and dies.
Donne humiliates death and declares the impotence of death. Once a person faces death,he is dead bodily as his soul leaves his body and goes to the heaven where it continues its living with other spirits. Spiritually a person does not die because souls are external. This is the belief or faith of the religious Christians. So we can say that since this poem shows the eternity of the soul, degrading death, therefore the poem deals with religious faith. So it can be called a religious poem.
Explain the significance of the last lines of the poem “Death Be Not Proud”?
The poem “Death Be Not Proud” by John Donne deals with the defeat of death, which is seen as all powerful and dreadful by mankind. The poem opens with death being personified as an individual who ends everything but the poet compares it to the other characters and demonstrates his fearlessness towards death, suggesting it to be just a short slumber and more like a passage into one’s eternal existence.
According to John Donne, when death has done its work on man, it Is the end of itself rather than the end of that man because the man will no longer die, but will be transcended to a spiritual being free of the miseries and afflictions of earthly physical life.
So according to the poet, in some ways, meeting death is a happy experience because man will enter his true purpose of living eternally in heaven free from all sufferings. So while existing on the earth, death becomes the only terror for man but after meeting death when his soul travels into another world that is the world of heaven, man becomes terror for death. It is death that perishes not man.
Death Be Not Proud Poem Short Answer Questions
Discuss the opening lines of the sonnet ‘‘Death be Not Proud”.
In the opening lines of the poem, Donne addresses Death and asks it not to be proud. Death has been described as forceful and frightening by some, but this is completely different. According to Donne Death is a lowly thing and not a mighty one. Death thinks that it has killed people, rather, their soul become eternal and they awaken to live forever. As a result the soul becomes more powerful and conquers death.
Why is the poet not afraid of death?
The poet John Donne is not afraid of death since he believes that when individuals die, they are only dead for a transient period and their souls live on, in the afterlife in the heaven. Therefore he argues that death cannot kill him, and so he is also not afraid of death.
Give an example of the use of paradox in the poem and explain.
The poet employs the paradox of death by questioning its traditional picture as the indomitable conqueror of man and claiming that by doing so it provides relief and pleasure like that of ‘rest and sleep’. It ultimately offers the delivery of souls into a tranquil eternity.
How does death set a man free?
When a man’s transitions take place from a physical
to a spiritual being, he becomes free. He transcends into the joys of an eternal after life, where he is free from all tragedies, conflicts, sufferings, pains and afflictions of earthly life.
Why do you think the poet personifies Death as a slave?
Death cannot function independently. It needs sickness, accidents and poison to determine who will die. So it lacks the ability to choose and so the poet refers it as a ‘slave’.
Who in the poet’s opinion, are the agents of death ?
According to the poet, poison, war and sickness, are the agents of death. Death is present in their company. So in order to kill a person, death must enlist the assistance of these evil agents. Death, is a victim of fate, chance, kings and wicked individuals.
Opium and other drugs have the same impact on us as death in terms of putting us to sleep. They help us in sleeping better. Death cannot function on its own level. That’s why the poet has called death to be powerless and helpless instead of dreadful and powerful.
What is the moral lesson of ‘Death Not Be Proud’?
The message of the poem ‘Death Be Not Proud’ is that there is nothing to be afraid of death. In fact after death, we enjoy a life of eternity in the heaven where we can rest in peace without tragedies, afflictions, diseases, conflicts, sufferings and pain.
What do people think of death according to the poet?
According to the poet, people think of death as mighty and terrifying, something that frightens their imaginations and thoughts. They believe that death is something very powerful and is a tremendous force that kills men and put an end to their lives.
Death Be Not Proud Poem Logic Base Questions
Complete the following sentences by providing a REASON for each:
1. The poet seems to taunt death because it is not independent as it has to take help of something or somebody in order to function. It is slave to chance, kings and desperate men.
2. Death is not actually powerful but it is weak and helpless because it does not have the power to kill all as it cannot kill human soul which is eternal.
3. Death is compared to sleep because like sleep it also gives rest and pleasure to us.
4. The poet pities death because death has no power as such and it can kill no one so it cannot kill the poet also.
5. Death cannot touch our souls because, it has no power to kill the immortal souls as according to Christian theology, souls are eternal.
6. Death should not feel proud because it is not at all powerful and dreadful as people think it to be but instead it is helpless and powerless.
7. Death sends us to a short sleep because after it, we wake up in the other world eternally.
Death Be Not Proud Poem About the Poet John Donne
John Donne was born in 1572 in London, in England. He was a multi-talented person who excelled as a poet, scholar, soldier and an administrator. He was considered as the pre-eminent metaphysical poet of his time. He studied at both Oxford as well as Cambridge universities of England. He studied law.
John Donne wrote a number of sonnets, satires, elegies; love lyrics etc.
His poetical works are noted for their metaphorical and sensual style and include sonnets, love poems, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams etc. He is also known for his sermons. His style is characterized by abrupt openings and various paradoxes, ironies and dislocations.
He is particularly famous for his mastery of metaphysical conceits. Among his notable works are “The Flea”, “A Valediction : Forbidding Morning”, “The Good Morrow”, “Holy Sonnets”, “The Canonization”, “The Sun Rising”, “The Dream”, “Death Be Not Proud” and many more. He died on 31st March, 1631 in London.
Death Be Not Proud About the Poem
‘Death Be not Proud’ is written between February and August 1609, and was first published posthumously in 1633. It is included as one of the nineteen sonnets that comprise Donne’s Holy Sonnets or Divine Meditations, among his best own works.
‘Death Be Not Proud’ presents an argument against the power of death. Addressing the death as a person, the speaker warns Death against pride in power. So Death actually is presented here as weak and not something “mighty”, which can only have effects on human bodies but not on human souls as they are immortal and deathless. So the main focus of the poem is to underline the immortality of the soul. The poet through this poem wants us to realize that there is life beyond this life.
This poem deconstructs the conventional image of death as a formidable ruler. Donne addresses the poem to Death, implying that Death should not be proud of itself because it is neither frightening nor strong. It has no control over immortal souls. So the poet wants us not to look at the might of it but at the wonderful power of God that we “wake eternally” from Death induced sleep.
He claims that rest and sleep are merely euphemisms for death. Finally, the poet states that death is a form of sleep from which the soul awakens to live eternally and becomes immortal. It is ultimately Death that dies. Donne thus lowers death and claims that it is not frightening or overpowering in any manner.
Death Be Not Proud Poem in Summary
The poem “Death, be Not Proud” starts by addressing ‘Death’ itself. The speaker personifies death as a figure and highlights Death’s false pride, and its short comings. He begins by calling out Death for what he believes is an inflated ego.
Death is neither frightening nor powerful although some people have called it so. It has no power over the soul which is immortal or in other words death has no effect and power over the soul. By calling Death ‘poor’, the poet pities it for its powerlessness and vulnerability.
So we can see how the poet debunks the belief that death is a victor, because it cannot kill soul; it can merely rest his weaiy body and free his soul to heaven. Linking the experience of sleep to death, he suggests that Death is merely a long sleep. Since sleep is pleasurable, there is no reason to believe that Death would not be too.
He says that the best men die young, achieving rest from the realms, and their souls are liberated. So dying is not a terrifying experience but Death should be treated like a welcome friend, not an agent of tenor. The poet tries to say that Death, in truth, is a prisoner, a slave to fate, chance, cruel kings and wicked men or in other words it cannot act on its own.
He is just an instrument in the hands of fate, powerful rulers and vicious persons. Death acts on their call. It is associated with low companions like poison, battle and sickness. Opium and other narcotics can induce better sleep than death. They help us to sleep better. So, death should not be proud of his abilities.
Finally, the poet states that death is a form of sleep from which the soul awakens to live eternally and becomes immortal. So death has no hold or control over us. The soul triumphs over death; it is death that dies. It is not death that perishes us; it is rather death that perishes. So ultimately when we wake up in eternity; death will be no more.
Death Be Not Proud Poem Line Wise Explanation
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou thinkest, thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
The poet, John Donne, addresses directly and dramatically Death who is personified as a figure. Such an address to something that we realistically know can’t be listening is called an apostrophe. The first quatrain of the sonnet denies Death as mighty and dreadful as some have called it. So Donne tells Death not to be proud.
Death may believe that he has defeated those who die, but Donne states that actually those people do not die, because their souls live on in the afterlife. He further degrades Death by calling it “ poor death”. He makes fun of Death for living under the misconception of its power for so long. According to the poem, people who die are dead momentarily and then they live along with all the other spirits in the Heaven. This is why Donne says that Death cannot kill him.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
In these lines the poet compares Death to rest and sleep. Just as we receive pleasure from a night of peaceful sleep, so also Death brings pleasure. The poet attempts to provide us with the reasoning for his argument. If we derive pleasure from rest and sleep, then we must derive even more pleasure from death itself because rest and peace are pale imitations of death.
So in other words we can say that sleep is a short form of death and nothing else. The poet also says that those people who die young are loved by God the most. Death is described here as “rest of bones” and means of soul’s delivery. When death perishes their bodies, they have peace and rest which they do not enjoy in life due to hard work, pain and suffering.
After death the bones get rest and souls become free and immortal. So Death actually gives birth to the soul which earlier was encaged in our body. Therefore we should not fear death as it is not fearful and terrible.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
In these lines the speaker adopts a stronger tone here and humiliates Death more than he did before. The poet taunts by saying that death cannot operate on its own. It has to seek the help of something or somebody to function. It is a captive or a slave to power of fate, chance, cruel monarchs and desperate men. It is also a poor submissive slave who is driven by rich people and rulers.
Kings and criminals can put an end to a man’s life instantly. Opium is made from the flowers like the poppy and charms are made from magic; both are equally efficient at lulling people to sleep. They also have the same effect on us as death in terms of putting us to sleep.
All these help us to sleep better. Or in other words Death has low companions like poison, war and sickness. Poison, war and physical sickness are destructive. So they are the agents through which Death works. Therefore the poet questions Death as to why it swells up with pride, when it is humbled to a weakling.
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be not more; Death, thou shalt die.
The final couplet speaks of the death which is merely a brief sleep since after a person dies, he will awaken and continue living eternally, free of Death or in other words those who experience Death wakes up eternally. Only their bodies perish but the souls remain the same since they go beyond the power and grasp of Death.
From a Christian perspective it can be said that Death itself is alive and logically subjected to its own death. In the other world, there will be no death or Death itself dies. The speaker will awaken from death as if from sleep and never again experience the dying process. Thus the poem ends on a paradox.
Death Be Not Proud Poem Theme
The theme, seen throughout John Donne’s poem is that death is unable to have its effects on the souls. Therefore death should not be feared as it is powerless. It only shows the power of man over Death. Though man is mortal, he is still superior to Death.
Death is a slave to its-inducing agents. It uses fate, chance, kings, criminal and sickness to put an end to someone’s life. So the poet portrays the image of death as a very common thing. He says that death is a ‘short sleep’ and nothing else because it gives us the same pleasure as we derive from sleep. The poet therefore believes in eternal life after death.
We will wake up eternally and there will be no death, so there will be another life after death. The poet makes an emphatic statement that death finishes the mortality of human being and gives them immortal status. Therefore another theme of this poem is immortality of human soul. Death perishes only human bodies. It has no control over soul as it wakes up eternally. So instead of fearing death we should be amazed at the wonder of the Divine scheme that is eternal life after death.
Death Be Not Proud Poem Word Meaning
Mighty — powerful
Thou — you
Thee — you
Overthrow — conquer
Cans’t — cannot
Do go — depart from this world
Bones — bodies
Desperate men — criminals
Dwell — live
Poppie — opium
Charms — magical chorus
Stroke — blow
Swell — puff
Death Be Not Proud Poem Critical Appreciation
John Donne in his poem ‘Death, be not Proud’ addresses death and speaks of its power. He reprimands death for being too proud and remarks that death cannot overpower him. He argues that death is for those whom death thinks that it can overthrow.
The poet also calls the death ‘poore’- it is not human beings who are the subject of pity but death itself deserves that denigration. Thus the poet gives argument after argument showing the powerlessness of death. Since death has no power in itself, it has no independent existence or authority of its own.
In order to kill a man, death has to seek the assistance of chance, fate, power of kings and criminals. It lives in the company of squalor, war and sickness which are all its exterior agents for killing people. The poet strips death of its power as an independent agency. He says death makes a picture of sleep and rest while life keeps on moving.
It provides pleasure and rest just as a peaceful night of sleep provides a man. Death is like a short sleep, as after death we wake eternally. When a person is resting or asleep, he is sort of a useless man. Therefore rest and sleep are pix of demise. So the poet here wants to say how death induces sleep, however there are numerous manner like opium and capsules which offer a higher and gentler sleep.
The forceful and convincing arguments of the poet make his point understandable easily. His tone is harsh and rugged. His irony is bitter and humour coarse. The opening of this poem is generally dramatic. The simplicity of language and complexity of expression make his vocabulary plain and pure. The poem ends on a paradox.
Death Be Not Proud Poem Style
“Death, Be Not Proud” is a sonnet-a poem of fourteen lines. It consists of four quatrains and a couplet at the end. It follows the Shakespearean structure, with a rhyme scheme of abba for the first two quatrains grouping them into an octet which is typical in Petrarchan sonnet.
Therefore if follows the rhyme scheme like a Petrarchan or Italian sonnet. There are many literary devices used in the poem like personification, metaphors, alliterations, assonance, paradox. In the poem death has been personified and since death is addressed directly therefore it can be said as an example of an apostrophe. Egs- Death be not proud, Die not, poor death
Fate and Chance have also been personified as living beings. The metaphors used in the poem are – death being compared to slave, rest and sleep. The repetition of consonant sounds is notable in Much pleasure much more much flow (‘m’ sound) and One short sleep past, we wake eternally (‘w’ sound).
These are alliterations. The repetition of vowel sounds in “And soonest our best men with thee do go” (‘e’ sound) is an example of assonance. The last line of the poem is a paradox where though the statement seems to be false but is actually true.
Death Be Not Proud Poem MCQs
Choose the correct alternative to complete the following sentences:
What is the tone of the poem?
Who ‘die quite young’, according to the poet?
a. sick men
b. poor men
c. excellent men
d. bad men
c. excellent men
Which of these is not compared to death?
d. none of the above
d. none of the above
The structure of the poem is basically …………..
a. Petrarchan sonnet
b. a Shakespearean sonnet
c. a lyric
d. an elegy
b. a Shakespearean sonnet
The form of the poet is basically ……………
a. a lyric
b. an elegy
c. a Shakespearean sonnet
d. a Petrarchan sonnet
d. a Petrarchan sonnet
Which of these statements is fake in relation to death’?
a. we should not fear death
b. Death is weak and helpless
c. Death acts independently
d. Death is compared to sleep
c. Death acts independently
Death is welcome according to the poem as it …………..
a. gives us rest and pleasure
b. ends all our happiness
c. is very powerful
d. is very frightening
a. gives us rest and pleasure
What rhyme scheme is followed in …………..
Who are the companions of death’?
a. poison, war and sickness
b. war, sickness and opium
c. charms, poison and sickness
d. poison, war and opium
a. poison, war and sickness
“One short sleep past. we wake eternally’. what figure of speech is used in the above line?