To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell
It is a metaphysical poem, which means its lyric contains many
striking images, is very intense and uses strong metaphors.
It is concerned with a young man who is trying to persuade a young
woman to have sex with him by charming and rushing her into it because
he only has one thing on his mind.
In the poem he uses three different arguments, flattery, fear and
passion to persuade her to his point of view.
In the first section Andrew Marvell uses flattery, he does this by
telling her that if he had all the time in the world he would use it
by telling her how beautiful she is and stare into her eyes but he
doesn't have this time and he knows this so he's using his charm and
persuasion to get her to sleep with him, a quote from this first
section to support this is,
'An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze
Two hundred to adore each breast
But thirty thousand to the rest'
He also tells her how beautiful she looks by comparing her to exotic,
mysterious and different places in the world, he would have used this
because countries such as India have only just been discovered at this
time and they would have been thought of as new exciting, different,
'Thou by Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find'
And comparing himself to a boring bridge that's found in Hull over a
dirty river, this is to make her feel special and wanted by this
ordinary everyday man,
'I by the tide
Of Humber would complain'
The young man also compares his love to lengths of time and great
moments in history that are related to the bible, he tells her that he
will love her forever until death do they part, also that his love is
ever growing and from his soul, to mention the soul was thought of as
a great commitment since the soul was thought of as a part of the body
just like an organ, to support this
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jew.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;'
The language in the first stanza uses assonance such as
'And the last age should show your heart'
He also uses alliteration such as:
'We would sit down and think which way'
'An age at least to every part'
He uses this in the poem to give it rhythm to engage the reader and
make it easier for the reader to get a flow to the lyrical rhythm of
At the very beginning of the poem he uses the word crime straight the
way to make her feel guilty and also that she kind of owes him
'Had we but world enough, and time
This coy Lady, were no crime'
He uses a lot of exaggeration to project how much he really 'wants'
her, to make her feel flattered, by telling her all the time he would
spend on her and all the love he would give her and then telling her
all of what's he's told her is the...