“The Flea” is one of the most celebrated poems written by John Donne. The poet is famous for writing metaphysical poetry. To understand this form of poetry we will have to understand the farfetched imagery which the poet uses in his poems. In the current poem the centre of attraction is a flea. It is an insect and in Elizabethan Period it was considered as a common nuisance but John Donne has used it in form of a beautiful metaphor. By reading this poem it becomes clear that poets can create wonder. An insect has been compared to a temple and it is a sin if somebody is going to kill that insect. John Donne says that the insect is a temple because in its body there are three different blood samples. First is of its own, second is of the beloved of the poet and the third is of the poet himself. Thus if somebody is going to kill the insect he is going to commit three murders altogether. Thus we can say that it is the masterpiece of the poet that he has used such a farfetched imagery. The insect symbolizes purity or wedlock because we can witness the fusion of the lover and the beloved in that insect. John Donne has beautifully written this poem and it is worth quoting few lines from the poem-
“Mark but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deniest me is;
It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be;
Thou know’st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead”
The poet clearly says that in the insect there is mingling of the two bloods. In Elizabethan period it was in practice to use conceit in poem. John Donne is expert in using conceit, extended metaphor and farfetched imagery. There are three protagonist in the flea namely the flea, man and woman. So we can find in each stanza there are three rhyming couplets. There is a triplet in each stanza and there are three stanzas. In the opening of the poem we can find that the speaker is logical but as the poem advances he becomes religious and theological. It enhances the image of the flea and there is a kind of divinity associated with the flea. In terms of prosody and scansion we can find that this poem has iambic base but it is not consistent. The lines are alternatively arranged octosyllabic and decasyllabic. Several scholars have said that this poem raises several moral and immoral questions. This poem has a rhyme scheme of aabbccddd. In the second stanza of the poem we can find strong religious imagery. The poet has tried to convince us that the flea is a symbol of the marriage bed.