This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Theme Of Carpe Diem In Robert Herrick's To The Virgins To Make Much Of Time

866 words - 3 pages

The Theme of Carpe Diem in Robert Herrick's To the Virgins to Make Much of Time

Robert Herrick's poem, "To the Virgins to Make Much of Time," focuses on the idea of carpe diem. More specifically, in this poem the idea of marriage while love and flesh are still young should be heeded or one may suffer in their later years alone and loveless. Herrick suggests that this gift of virginity might be a great waste if not given while it is still desirable. Virginity is a gift for the simple reason that it can only be given once to the taker of the prize, which he believes should be the husband. Therefore, he says to go out and find husbands, for youth is not perpetual and will eventually succumb to old age and loneliness. Through Herrick's use of colorful imagery and personification, the reader detects a sense of urgency and duty for the virgins to go forth and marry while time is still at hand and love is bountiful, thus creating the overall idea of carpe diem.

The first stanza of the poem opens to the personification of the flowers as the virgins:

Gather ye Rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a flying:
And this same flower that smiles today,
To morrow will be dying. (ll. 1-4)

The rosebuds correspond to the virgins in that they are beautiful and delicate, yet they have not reached their full potential and maturity by becoming full bloomed roses. Time is also personified as, "Old Time," which suggests a genial greybeard more than a grim reaper (Rollin 83). Time is still "a flying" suggests a comical image more than ominous but still one of urgency (Rollin 83). The image of the smiling flower indicates innocence and freshness but it only "smiles today, To morrow [it] will be dying." A grim and abrupt end comes to the smiling flower as so will to the virgins if they do not marry in their youth.

The atmosphere of the second stanza further intensifies the notion that time is surely running out for our indecisive virgins. As the "glorious Lamp of Heaven," the sun, is rising and is reaching it's peak. The sun is pictured as a marathon runner in line 7 with, "The sooner will his Race be run." And as with all good things in life there must be an end. The sun will then set and the youthfulness of the virgins will fade. The choice of words that Herrick uses in the second stanza such as "getting," "sooner," and "neerer" create a mood of urgency which also leads to a degree of anxiety. Time is moving on in every aspect of...

Find Another Essay On The Theme of Carpe Diem in Robert Herrick's To the Virgins to Make Much of Time

Carpe Diem Through the Eyes of Robert Herrick

842 words - 4 pages Throughout centuries there have been many poets write about seizing the day. Robert Herrick is a poet who had bold and divergent views of ‘carpe diem’ which are age, love, and just living because one does not have much time. “The age is best which is the first,” (Line 11). In Robert Herrick’s poem, ‘To The Virgins to Make Much of Time,’ he focuses on the significance of youth. Age is something very important to him. He lets the reader know

An analysis of the poetic techniques employed by Robert Herrick in his exploration of the concept of Carpe Diem

3923 words - 16 pages Bed of Tulips", "Corinna's Gone a Maying" and the famous "To the Virgins to Make Much of Time". Each of these poems are very similar, however there are many differences that render them unique. This dissertation aims to analyse Herricks' carpe diem poetry by studying the techniques employed by Robert Herrick in his exploration of the concept.One reason why Robert Herrick's poetry is so successful is because it is simple. Part of this simplicity is

Theme of Carpe Diem in A Fine, a Private Place by Ackerman and To His Coy Mistress by Marvell

907 words - 4 pages The words carpe diem mean “seize the day” in Latin. It is a theme that has been used throughout the history of literature and has been a popular philosophy in teaching from the times of Socrates and Plato up to the modern English classroom. Carpe diem says to us that life isn’t something we have forever, and every passing moment is another opportunity to make the most out of the few precious years that we have left. In the poems “A Fine, a

The Message of Carpe Diem in Ozymandias

786 words - 3 pages The Message of Carpe Diem in Ozymandias     Watching the clock on the wall? Cannot seem to wait until class is over? Perhaps you should slow down and enjoy the present. Ozymandias learns a harsh lesson on enjoying time. "Ozymandias" is a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley where the king of kings, Ozymandias, learns that time is to be lived in the present and when it is gone there is no way of getting it back.   At the

To His Coy Mistress Essay: The Carpe Diem Motif

845 words - 3 pages allusion, metaphor, and grand imagery in order to convey a mood of majestic endurance and innovatively explicate the carpe diem motif.   Previous carpe diem poems (such as those written by Robert Herrick at the same time period) often took an apostrophic form and style which stressed the temporality of youth. The logical extension was to urge the recipient of the poem to take advantage of that youth to further her relationship with the

To His Coy Mistress: An Interesting Use of Carpe Diem

1064 words - 5 pages Early 17th century Brittan was experiencing several different types of change, it was a time right after a civil war and time when boundaries of every aspect were being pushed. Amendment of literature was prominent, a common theme arose to which many scholars refer to as carpe diem or “seize the day”. It was a process of writing in which the author justifies the deed of taking action before time runs out or before it is too late. The following

Metaphysical poetry and the Concept of 'Carpe Diem'- Donne's "To His Mistress Going to Bed" and Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress"

998 words - 4 pages mortality. Challenge conventions and conservative ideology are common preoccupations of artists and just as Donne champions the libertine ideal in "To His Mistress Going to Bed", so Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress" celebrates the metaphysical belief of "Carpe diem" or grasping the day. Both poets see man as a spontaneous and pragmatic being, destined to live one life only and needing to make the most of it. This need to satisfy one's earthly urgings is

Carpe Diem Seizing the Day

867 words - 3 pages that can’t come true I’m glad that we are different, we’ve better things to do May others plan their future, I’m busy lovin’ you Seems to me the Grassroots are singing, “Don’t worry, be happy.” Sound familiar? We spend too much time cluttering our heads with useless trivia and we face hundreds of choices daily that confuse us and overload our circuits. Time to reboot. We should temper the pursuit of the root

Marvel to His Mistress: Carpe Diem!

1052 words - 4 pages classical argument. He uses the three stanzas to address the issues of time, love, and sex. In doing so, he creates his own standpoint and satirizes his audience in the process. Using appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos; logical reasoning; and even a hint of the Rogerian technique - Marvell proves that acting now is essential. The logical argument for the "carpe diem" theme is built up from beginning to end. At the start, the first stanza of the

Carpe Diem in Ronsard's Poetry

695 words - 3 pages as his subject in his poetry, after all, people die, words remain on paper for a long time. He urges Helene to put away her pride immediately or she will “Regrettant mon amour et votre fier dedain” (“Quand vous serez…”, 12). The reminder that everyone becomes old and dies serve to make the last lines of this poem, his message of Carpe Diem to Helene, stand out and become more urgent than before: “Vivez, si m’en croyez, n’attendez a demain

Dead Poets' Society. Directed by Peter Reis. Discuss Mr Keating's philosophy; carpe diem (seize the day) and to what extent is it christrian, in relation to four students from the film

528 words - 2 pages do as you feel type attitude. This is not the message that Mr. Keating intended. Mr Keating did not realise how repressed and impressionable the boys are and how serious the outcomes of his message.Seize the day is to some extent a Christian ideal. In the bible it infers that you should live your life in the glory of God and that you should do good to all people and make the most of every opportunity you are given. These ideals have to do with

Similar Essays

To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time By Robert Herrick

601 words - 2 pages it To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time and Carpe Diem Ever hear of the phrase “carpe diem”? It is a common Latin phrase meaning “seize the day” or in plain English, make the most of the time you have. This phrase is very well portrayed in Robert Herrick’s most popular poem “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”. Herrick was an established poet in the mid-1900’s who lacked ambition but wrote remarkable poems. He was a graduate from Cambridge

To The Virgins To Make Much Of Time

631 words - 3 pages To the virgins to make much of time GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may, GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may, Old time is still a-flying: And this same flower that smiles to-day To-morrow will be dying. The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, The higher he's a-getting, The sooner will his race be run, And nearer he's to setting. That age is best which is the first, when youth and blood are warmer; but being spent, the worse and worst Times still

Camparison Of Robert Herrick´S To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time And Alfred Tennyson´S Lady Of Sharlott

1483 words - 6 pages tower isolated from the world, alone, decides to leave her tower to follow the man she loves—no matter the cost. Herrick’s “To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time” may be more blatant in its message but, when we examine the text, we see that Tennyson’s “Lady of Shalott” shares the theme that life is too short to live and die alone, and we should not wait to find love. Robert Herrick’s “To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time” is a warning to us that

Comparison Between "The Passionate Shepherd To His Love" By Christopher Marlowe And "To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time" Robert Herrick

620 words - 2 pages In the two carpe diem poems, “The Passionate shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe and “To the Virgins, to make much of time” Robert Herrick, the author uses few poetic devices to make there point and portray the theme. “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” is about a shepherd asking for a lady to marry him and he will comfort her and give her all the pleasures. “To the Virgins, to make much of time”