Comparison of the Poets' Representation of the Lover in To His Coy Mistress and Porphyria's Lover
In "To His Coy Mistress", Andrew Marvell presents a declaration of
love to the object of his desire, but at the same time he
simultaneously develops a systematic argument of reasoning. As a
metaphysical poem, Marvell uses his writing as a tool for sexism;
beneath the surface the poem exists to be manipulated by a society
domineered by testosterone for the fulfilment of male pleasure. The
speaker focuses on the concept of time in an attempt to seduce his
Andrew Marvell tries in this carpe diem poem, "To His Coy Mistress,"
to use time and symbols to convince her to seize the day. He uses the
river, the worm and many direct references to time to express the
urgency of the situation. He then says that his love is vegetable and
that this coy mistress is the only one that can sustain this living
love. Then he threatens death, gets aggressive, and shows her that her
youth is fleeting, and that if she does not change, she will be
"Porphyria's Lover," which first appeared in 1836, is one of the
earliest and most shocking of Browning's dramatic monologues. It is
about the speaker who describes how he murders the woman he loves.
The imagery of "to his coy Mistress" refers to three main themes,
passion, time and decay. Each theme is set out in a way so they all
connect; he implies that because of the lack of time there can be
little passion. And this 'coyness' or how he sees it, resistance leads
to decay or death. He uses imagery such as water in the first stanza,
'the Indian ganges,' and 'by the tide of Humber' and 'the flood' He
emphasises the places they would go if time were not an issue, and
refers to the flood connecting to Noah a part belonging to the Genesis
in the Bible. He then shows a contrast of religion 'till the
conversion of the Jews' suggesting that as most Jews never convert, he
would love her till then without any demand of sexual actions, The
flood happened sometime after the creation. The conversion of the Jews
is supposed to happen before Armageddon. That's the allusion that
Andrew Marvell is using to emphasise how he could love her.
The second stanza's imagery circulates around time, 'times winged
chariot hurrying near.' He means time is limited. The image of a
'desert of vast eternity' and 'Thy beauty shall no more be found'
shows that when he dies he will no longer be with her. 'Marble vault'
is a where she would be buried. He then uses disturbing imagery
referring to worms, and how they 'shall try that long preserved
virginity.' He feels that it is pointless for her to resist sleeping
with him when the virginity she preserves will eventually be taken by
The third stanza's imagery makes reference to her skin blushing,