Legend by David Gemmell, evaluation essay

Essay by shy7guy13High School, 10th gradeA+, May 2004

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In the poem "The Flea", by John Donne, the speaker uses a quite peculiar method in an attempt to get something from his mistress. The poem is composed of three stanzas such that each of them serves its own purpose in explaining the speaker's situation. Upon closer examination, Donne weaves a truly intricate tale of one man's love for another woman through the actions of a miniscule flea.

Donne begins by presenting the initial situation in his love affair; the introduction of the flea. In this poem, the flea literally is a representation of what it simply is; a parasitic insect that feeds off the blood of its host. In lines 3-6, the speaker tells how the flea sucked both his mistress' and his own blood. It is not fully explained why the speaker talks so much about the flea until the last four lines of the first stanza.

What the flea has done is not "A sin, nor a shame, nor a loss of maidenhead," (line 6) but something completely different. This is our first clue at what the speaker is trying to tell us. In the following few lines, Donne demonstrates that the speaker has been referring to sex this whole time. He continues by stating, "Yet this enjoys before it woo, And pampered swells with one blood made of two, And this, alas, is more than we would do," (line 7-9). What he is trying to convey in his writing is that such a small and insignificant creature like the flea is able to do something that the speaker himself cannot get away with. It was once believed that when two people had intercourse, their blood would mix. The speaker in turn is rather jealous, and finds it ironic that the flea is able...