Love in "To His Coy Mistress", "Shall I Compare Thee," "Let Me Not," and "The Flea"
The four poems I am going to be comparing are, “To His Coy Mistress,”
“Shall I Compare Thee,” “Let Me Not,” and “The Flea.” All four of
these poems are based on the subject matter of love. The four poems
have a lot in common but each poem touches a different aspect of love.
Two of the poems, “Shall I Compare Thee”, and “Let Me Not”, are
sonnets and both were written by Shakespeare. “To His Coy Mistress” is
written by Andrew Marvell and “The Flea” was written by John Donne.
All four of the poems have three parts to them each posing a different
argument. I will be analysing and comparing the four poems in the
purpose of the poem, the nature of love, the effect of outside
influences on their love, the form of the poem and the techniques the
poets use convincingly.
The main purpose of ‘To His Coy Mistress’ is to persuade Marvell’s
mistress to consummate their relationship together, this is also the
same purpose of ‘The Flea’. The other purposes are to brag about how
good he is at writing; this is shown in his arrogant style of writing.
It is for seduction, a satire of legal persuasive speech and the final
purpose is a reminder of mortality, and they should seize the day. It
also says that the woman is very shy and that if they had all the
world but enough time so being shy is not a crime, this is shown in
the opening lines, “Had we but world enough, and time, This coyness,
Lady, were no crime.” Phrases such as, “amorous birds of prey,” and
“tear our pleasures” show that they consummate their relationship.
“Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near”, is a reminder that death will
soon dawn upon then and so there is more reason for them to seize the
day and sleep with each other. Flattery is shown in the poem when
Marvell says, “Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze, Two hundred to
adore each breast.”
The main purpose of ‘Shall I Compare Thee’ is to praise and flatter
Shakespeare’s loved one. Shakespeare is praising his mistress when he
says she is ‘better than the best’ because summer is the best time of
the year and Shakespeare is saying she is better than summer. “Thou
art more lovely and more temperate” shows that he is saying she is
perfect and constantly exquisite”. The word “darling” gives the poem
an affectionate tone. Shakespeare is also writing to show off his
writing skills, this is shown in the last line when he says, “So long
lives this and this gives live to thee”, because he says his writing
will live on forever. It is also written to give his loved one a
reminder of mortality. “Nor shall death brag” is the reminder of death
and it is personified because it implies death can’t take her.
The purposes of ‘Let Me Not’ were to flatter Shakespeare’s loved one,
remind his beloved of mortality, define love and to show how love is
threatened by other things. Romantic flattery is shown when
Shakespeare says, “rosie...