Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #4

And poppy’or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swellst thou then? (line 11-12)

Is it courage or delusion to compare Death to a drug that many people in Donne’s day consider pleasant and relaxing ("poppy" is a reference to opium)? The speaker seems to try to make death into an experience that requires less courage than is normally thought. After all, anyone can sit around and smoke an opium pipe. At least, in the 17th century, before they know how bad drugs are for you.

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