The Flea- this poem should talk about how the speaker shows his passion
fervently to his lover and he also shows to want to make love with his
mistress. He expresses his heart of the passion and persuades his lover
by using the image of the flea. At the first stanza, the speaker described
that "Me it sucked first, and now sucks thee. And in this flea our two
bloods mingled be." This shows that the speaker thought women would become
pregnant when the blood of men mixed with their blood by proceeding sexual
intercourse. The kind of strange thought may be affected because of the
social customs in the seventeenth century. In the seventeen century, pregnancy
before the marriage was not permitted and belonged to a kind of shame behavior.
We can get the evidence from the description of the speaker- He said that
"Thou know'st that this cannot be said a sin, or shame, or loss of maidenhead".
Although they can't have sexual intercourse with his lover, the condition
is the same by using the flea to mix their blood. At the same time, he
also thought they would not have any sinful behaviors in this way.
In addition to this, the speaker had thought that their baby was in
the flea and also thought this flea had become pregnant for their mixed
blood. Why do I think this? Because the speaker said "and pampered swells
with one blood made of two." I think that "swell" represents the meaning
of becoming pregnant. At the first line of the second stanza, the speaker
thought that three lives lived in the flea including of himself, her lover
and their baby. Besides, he said "Where we almost, nay more than married
are." It shows that although we don't have any the relationship of the
marriage, our intimate have overtook what a couple should have. Therefore,
he can't agree that his lover killed the flea. He said "self-murder added
by, and sacrilege, three sins in killing three." He thought that his lover
will kill herself and also will kill three lives in the flea if she killed
Unfortunately, his lover killed the flea, because she didn't want to
agree that their blood had been mixed up so that the flea became pregnant
and wasn't willing to have sexual relationship with the speaker. Meanwhile,
she also didn't want to destroy and her own maidenhead. However, the speaker
objected that his lover killed the flea.
At the third stanza, he said "Cruel and sudden, hast thou since purpled
thy nail in blood of innocence?" he thought that killing the flea is a
cruel thing and destroyed his all love and passion. He felt he had nothing
powerful enough to persuade his mistress to make love with him, if the
flea was dying. Therefore, I think the flea was a conceit. The speaker
used it to make his mistress to long for him and made love with him.