Hsu at 2:38:7 6/10/98 from proxy-sec.showtower.com.tw
|Honestly speaking, this poem took me a lot of effort to get a clearer
mind. I read this poem so many times but still a little bit confused. I
hope my analysis won't make you feel bad¡K
In my personal opinion, the speaker ( I think it's a male) is using "flea" as an argument or reason to argue this lady to have sex with him. Flea maybe is a symbol of the love desire in humans. In the first stanza, the lady seemed to refuse his suitor's request. ( "How little that which thou deniest me is") Then the man used flea to tell her that it had already sucked the blood from both and mingled their blood and formed another living being.( Their child, maybe.) I think maybe this flea-sucking action might suggest " making love" because in the 17th century it was believed that women became pregnant when the blood of the man mixed with her blood during sexual intercourse. In the first stanza, it had also revealed why this lady refuse him. From the poem, we know that they are not married, so maybe to this lady, having sex before marriage( loss of maidenhead)is a sinful and shameful action.In the second stanza, the man is saying that the flea is pregnant with their blood- child, which warned her if she
tries to kill the flea, she is committing not only murder, but also suicide ( cause he said " This flea is you and me, and this¡K) He called this action Sacrilege, that's why it is written " Though use make you to kill me ( He is also suggesting if she kills the flea, she kills him) Let not to that, self-murder added be, and sacrilege, three sins in killing three.And in the last stanza, we know that the lady didn't listen to him because she had killed the flea with her "purple" nail. As we learned in the connotations before, I think purple is a symbol of royalty. Does this imply that maybe this lady came from a higher class (noble) than her suitor, and she thinks it's kind of insulting to have her own blood mixed with a common people?! ( so she kills the flea.) or maybe to her, this kind of love expression is not modest enough for a maiden? And by killing the flea, I think to this man it's also like killing his love for her. I don't really understand the last few lines " Just so much honor, when thou yields to me, Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee." But I think the whole poem can be interpret into many different point of view. To me, I don't think the man really loved her. To me, I think he just wants SEX!!! And I think those words he is using is very lustful. Such as flea ( cause it's a disgusting insect), suck¡K To my understanding, Donne is a Catholic, I thought Catholic viewed having sex before marriage as a sin ( am I right?) , so in what points of view is he suggesting? Is he on the before marriage sex side or the other? And because he wrote this poem in the 17th century, can people at then accept this kind of poem? Well, as far as I'm concerned,this is definitely a very weird, but somehow controversial poem.