What is love? The age-old question arises once more. In truth, a universal definition has not been agreed upon, but generally one can define love as “an indication of adoration” or an “an ineffable feeling of intense attraction shared in interpersonal and sexual relationships.” Love can be directed towards kin, a lover, oneself, nature, or humanity- but regardless that love in an emotional sense is eternal. Some fall into love, and some claim they fall out. Love should be endless, lasting, and pure, but half of the time that love ends up being a sham. There is solid record of this false love- love that is meant to look pure- in the famous writings The Lottery and To His Coy Mistress.
In the case of To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvall, a not-so-gentle gentleman is trying to woo a “coy” young lady with claims of love. This poem is strewn with hyperbole to the point that it becomes exactly the opposite of love. When there is such over exaggerated praise, it starts to lose the real meaning of the message. If you take a look at lines 13-18, you can see the obvious amplification:
“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;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.”
How can it be remotely possible to spend thirty thousand years on observing a woman’s body? It seems to me as if he is just telling her what she wants to hear as long as he gets what he wants- which is to get into bed with her. The fallacy is even more apparent once line 20 ends because the mood switches immediately from “loving” to a grotesque, dark tone. The speaker goes on about how if she doesn’t lose her “long preserv’d virginity” to him, then the only way she will lose it is in her grave to the worms crawling inside her. How can that be a portrayal of love? The mere thought of that is absolutely grim. What... [continues]
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