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Death, be not proud

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The first words of a sonnet by John Donne. The poet asserts that death is a feeble enemy and concludes with these lines: “One short sleep past, we wake eternally / And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

MORE ABOUT DEATH BE NOT PROUD

What does Death, be not proud mean?

Death, be not proud are the first words of a sonnet written by John Donne. The sonnet says that death is weak and should not be proud of itself.

Death, be not proud is commonly used to directly quote Donne’s sonnet.

You might use Death, be not proud when you are honoring or mourning someone who has died. Often, the phrase is used to express anger or sadness that death has taken a person too soon.

Example: To honor my grandfather, I read “Death, be not proud” at his funeral. 

Where does Death, be not proud come from?

The phrase Death, be not proud is from the first line of a sonnet commonly referred to as “Death, be not proud” or “Holy Sonnet 10” written by poet and English cleric John Donne (1572–1631). The sonnet talks to death as if it were a person, shaming it for being proud of itself.

Donne states that although many people think death is scary and dominant, it is actually weak and nothing to be afraid of. He points out that death is at the mercy of luck and fate and is often a servant of kings and desperate people (in that these people either sentence people to die or murder them). The poet claims that death is weaker than sleep because death is only the brief moment between life and the afterlife.

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What are some words that share a root or word element with Death, be not proud

What are some words that often get used in discussing Death, be not proud?

How is Death, be not proud used in real life?

Death, be not proud is often used to talk about mourning someone who has died.

Try using Death, be not proud!

True or False?

The words Death, be not proud are used in a sonnet that claims Death to be scary and powerful.

How to use Death, be not proud in a sentence

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