Death's Duel

by John Donne


This sermon, the last one Donne gave, was later described as his own funeral sermon. It portrays life as a slow descent into sickness and death, yet points towards the hope of redemption, salvation, and resurrection. As Donne battled illness towards his life's end, death remained a constant theme of both his pastoral and poetic works, including his classic Holy Sonnet X, “Death Be Not Proud.” While some, such as Samuel Johnson and John Dryden, have criticized Donne's work for being dry and passionless, Donne consistently wrote and spoke on matters deeply personal to him. In this sermon, at least, the then dying Donne's passion is clearly evident.

Kathleen O'Bannon
CCEL Staff

About John Donne

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Picture of John Donne
Picture of John Donne
Source: Wikipedia
Born: January 22, 1572
Died: March 31, 1631
Related topics: English poetry--Early modern, England, Criticism, interpretation, etc., Donne, John,--1572-1631, Church of England, …
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