Analytical Essay: Robert Herrick “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Robert Herrick’s poems almost always cover the idea of Carpe Diem, meaning “Seize the day”. For Herrick’s poems the meaning in translated into the idea that everyone should live their life to the fullest and have the most fun they can while they are young; the idea of ‘eat, drink, and be merry’. Ben Johnson is an inspiration to the style of poems that Herrick writes, with the idea against puritan ways with an emphasis on the High Church and writing poetry that people could read in the privacy of their own homes; therefore could write on the topics ranging from sexuality to religion. The poem “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” is Herrick’s way of portraying the beauty and young element of nature and connecting to send a message to the younger generation, the virgins, to pursue an exciting life while their young before time turns them into an old maid. This message is displayed through different elements of nature including a beautiful flower, the sun rising and setting, and the fresh young blood coursing through a young virgin’s body, while also emphasizing the message of Carpe Diem in all three elements.
When viewing this poem from a perspective comparing the time of nature and the time of the human life as being as valuable, to live freely while you are young is an important concept covered in Herrick’s “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”. The focus being towards a younger audience, was clearly defined through the use of nature specifically through the use of the imagery of the flower in the first stanza. Opening the poem with the line “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,/ Old time is still a-flying” (1-2), expressed the idea that the rosebuds being the newborn version of the flower, time flies by and soon the buds will become a flower. The imagery of flowers appeals to the younger audience rather than the more sophisticated imagery, Herrick is drawing in a specific crowd that he...
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