Carpe Diem and To Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Despite a separation in time, the poems Carpe Diem and To Virgins, to Make Much of Time share multiple similarities in their poetic composition through the use of imagery, symbolism and tone. In addition, author of Carpe Diem, Horace, and To Virgins’ Robert Herrick have united ideas in which they stress to “seize the day” and live life to its fullest. The poems share a parallel of a philosophical outlook on life through the use of poetic devices and metric skills.
Carpe Diem’s strong formal diction is appropriate as the author directs a lesson not only to the reader but also to the friend that which he is speaking to. Therefore, a strict tone along with an imperative and informative attitude is expressed by the author. “Be wise! Drink free, and in so short a space / Do not protracted hopes of life embrace” (Horace). Instructional orders are given to the friend by the author for they are necessities of a proper-lived life. In addition, the language used corresponds with the author’s standpoint. Horace also uses other devices such as personification to make a point while supporting the tone. “Whilst we are talking, envious time doth slide” (Horace). Horace expresses the advancement of time as sliding and as envious therefore personifying it and giving it human-like characteristics. In addition, Horace continues to instruct his outlook on life to his friend maintaining the tone of the poem.
To Virgins, to Make Much of Time’s diction uses a less formal diction than Carpe Diem; however, it shares a similar tone and attitude. As the title suggests, the author is directing his philosophy to virgins. Herrick uses symbolism with the term virgin as it represents those who haven’t properly fulfilled their life. “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may… And this same flow that smiles today, / To-morrow will be dying.” (Herrick). The rosebuds represent the opportunities of life and how “virgins” waste their time...
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