Death, be not proud Summary & Analysis by John Donne

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“Holy Sonnet 10,” often referred to as “Death, Be Not Proud,” was written by the English poet and Christian cleric John Donne in 1609 and first published in 1633. The poem is a direct address to death, arguing that it is powerless because it acts merely as a “short sleep” between earthly living and the eternal afterlife—in essence, death is nothing to fear. The sonnet written mostly in iambic pentameter and is part of a series known as Donne's "Holy Sonnets"(or “Divine Meditations”/ “Divine Sonnets”). In keeping with these other poems, “Holy Sonnet 10” is a devotional lyric that looks at life’s biggest questions in the context of Donne’s religious beliefs.

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