Comparison Of Marvell's To His Coy Mistres And Donne's Anniverasry

1091 words - 4 pages

To his coy mistress... This poem was written in seventeenth century and includes some words, which changed their usage and meaning during 300 years. So first of all I would like to explain what words 'coy' and 'mistress' meant in the period of Metaphysical poetry. When somebody was coy, especially the woman, it meant that she was very shy, reserved and she did not behave in a flirting way. It related in particular in a realm of love or sex. The word 'mistress' is very closely connected with this because a mistress was a woman who had a sexual relationship with usually married man but he was not her husband.After first reading of this poem you may think that the argument is simple - a man encourages his mistress to be not too shy and be more glowing. It is something like love or ticklish utterance to her, a small appeal for her. But this would be very unsophisticated for Andrew Marvell, a Metaphysical poet. Through the whole poem passes a motive 'carpe diem'. It is a Latin locustion from the verses of Quintus Horatius Flaccus, a Roman poet and satirists who lived in antiquity. Carpe diem means 'seize the day'.We could divide this song into 3 parts. The first one begins with the first line and finishes by the twentieth. In this part speaker blandishes to his woman, he entices her and he says her how much he loves her. Already in this part Marvell refers to the problem of time. In the first two lines "Had we but world enough, and time, this coyness lady, were no crime" he intimates her that if the time would be never-ending and so they have a plenty of time, her demureness would be on the place. But everybody knows that the time, or rather, the life is too short, so he challenges her to give herself up to him. Her virginity is not appropriate because they do not live forever - so they should take the advantages of the moment of the present and they have to express their love for one another before death comes to claim them. There is no time to be coy.Then he continues with what they might do in a time that never ends. "We would sit down, and think which way to walk, and pass our long Love's day" is an idyllic scene, free of the pressures of age. They could do many things inclusive of writing love poems by the tide of the Humber River that flows through Marvell's native town Hull.It is worth to take note of the metaphor "My vegetable Love should grow vaster than Empires, and more slow". It means that their love has the life and property of growth like a plant. This love grows, takes nourishment and reproduces, although it grows very slowly.We can find some hyperboles in the first stanza too. For example "An hundred years should go praise Thine Eyes" and "Two hundred to adore each Breast" greatly exaggerate time. Or when he mentions the period from ten years before the Flood (which occurs in Genesis some time after Creation) until the Conversion of the Jews (which will be happen at Armageddon, it was the end of recorded history).In...

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