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------On John Donnes Death be not proud And Since she whom I loved hath paid her last debt John Donne was the most outstanding of the English Metaphysical poets and a churchman famous for his sermons His poetry is noted for its ingenious fusion of wit and seriousness and represents a shift from classical models toward a more personal style Donne was born in London to a prominent Roman Catholic family but converted to Anglicanism during the 1590s His complex personality plays an important role in his poetry His intellect and as a result his work demonstrates various opinions that at times conflict or agree with each other These opposing views represent one of the most fascinating aspects of his poetry Seldom is this divergence presented as clearly and frequently as in the theme of death as will be illustrated by the following essay As with most poets of his time Donne was obsessed with death Mesmerized by its mysteries charmed by its allure and convinced of the existence of an afterlife as a result of Christian theology he finds himself at times unable to settle on a particular view of the subject While a considerable portion of Donnes poems deals with death either directly or indirectly some poems depict death as insignificant while others present it as something he and therefore humans should fear As a Christian Donne believed although perhaps did not understand the concept of an afterlife This conviction is shown by his understanding of death as a necessary stage before reaching the glory of heaven the promised life with God His contradictory behavior is demonstrated by a fear of death sometimes expressed in his search for ways in which he could triumph over it instead of becoming its victim which fueled his interest in the practice of suicide One of the Holy Sonnets Death Be Not Proud presents the contradictory views of Donne The opening lines Death
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