John Donne's The Funeral: Paraphrase and Analysis

Essay by lilruggerUniversity, Bachelor'sA, April 2004

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"The Funeral"

Ten words or allusions:

dissolution: the action of bringing to an end; the state of being ended

humility: the quality of being humble, humbleness, meekness

idolatry: excessive devotion to or veneration for a person or thing; adoration

manacled: fetter or confine, bind, restrain

martyr: a person who undergoes death or great suffering on behalf of any religious or other cause, or as a consequence of devotion to some object

provinces: a principle administrative division of certain countries, states; a principle division of a kingdom or empire, one historically or linguistically distinct

relics: a part of the body, clothing, or other belongings of a saint, martyr, or other deceased holy person which is carefully preserved as an object of veneration

shroud: a sheet or sheet-like garment in which a corpse is wrapped for burial, etc.

sinewy: the mainstay or chief supporting force of a thing

viceroy: a ruler of a colony, province, etc.,

exercising authority on behalf of a sovereign; a person in a position of high authority, one acting on behalf of another

Paraphrase of "The Funeral"

Whoever comes to cover me, do not damage

Or ask about

The small braid of hair that encircles my arm;

The obscurity, the symbol you must not disturb,

Because it is my superficial essence

Ruler to that, since I have left for heaven,

Leave this behind to direct,

And keep these limbs, her realm, from dying

The strong nerves of my brain go

Through every part

And bring me together to make me whole,

This hair that grew is long, strong, and beautiful

And from a worthier mind,

I better do it, unless she meant that I

Should know the extent of my pain

Like prisoners are handcuffed, when they are sentenced to execution.

No matter how she meant it, bury...