How does Marvell present his love in Coy Mistress?
This poem is a ‘carpe diem’ poem meaning seize the day. The poem is split into three stanzas. In the first stanza Marvell gives us the impression that he is calm, caring and in no hurry. But then in the second stanza he makes it clear that they have not got much time, and death is near. The final stanza shows that they are in a fight against time and they should pursue pleasure while they are able to. The poem is wrote in rhyming couplets. In the first stanza the opening words are “had we but the world enough, and time”. Marvell tells the mistress that if they had more time and space then her “coyness” wouldn’t be a “crime.” He then goes on and says “I would love you ten years before the flood” until “the conversion of the Jews”. This means that he would have loved her from almost the beginning of time, and until the Jews converted to Christianity before judgement day. This is the use of religious imagery which is also used in Sonnet 43 and throughout Romeo and Juliet. He then says that his “vegetable love should grow vaster than empires.” Here he is telling us that his love is slow growing, long lasting and bigger than empires. He extends it by saying if only there was time; he would focus on “every part” of her body and spend “an hundred years” to “praise thine eyes” and “two hundred to adore each breast.” But there is not endless time so this is not possible. In the second stanza he reminds her that he can’t do all this praising because “times winged chariot” is “hurrying near.” Here the chariot is the Greek god Helios which has been personified as the sun. He says that time is catching up with them and it’ll soon be the end. He then uses death to show the lover the pointlessness of resisting him. He says once dead “then worms shall try that long preserved virginity.” This is used to encourage his lover to give her virginity to him rather than saving it...
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