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John Donne Death is a really complicated subject that people view very differently in various scenarios. In John Donne's Holy Sonnets, he writes about death in Meditations X and XVII. Both meditations use many comparable rhetorical devices and allure, but the tones of the meditations are very disparate. Donne's distinct messages from Meditations X and XVII communicate tones of defiance and acquiescence towards death, respectively. His apparent change of attitude towards passing may be accounted for by his own diverse life scenarios while he was writing the meditations: mid-life, and near-death. "Meditation X", which Donne wrote in mid-life, has a very defiant and powerful tone. Donne starts the meditation by defying normal perspectives of passing, and saying how "death, be happy" (Donne). In deprecating passing, Donne shows how he doesn't fear something that mortals usually fear. His reckless mockery of passing is his fascination with pathos, especially the human emotion of joy and determination to live; "Meditation X" is a struggle against an inevitable, insidious, and metaphysical force. In "Meditation XVII", Donne starts instead by deprecating himself, conceding that he "may believe [himself so much better than he is]" (Donne). This concession conveys a much more acquiescent and passive tone, appealing as an alternative to the individual emotions of depression and yearning to understand and accept death. Logos is also manipulated by Donne in...