To His Coy Mistress

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Love to His Mistress
Throughout history the ideas of proper sexuality for men and women have changed very little. Courtship is important today as it was in the 1600's. Andrew Marvel's poem, "To His Coy Mistress", is a typical carpe diem poem in which the speaker tells his mistress they should "seize the day". It is obvious that he wants her to have sexual relations with her now instead of having to wait until marriage. Marvell is not suggesting for lust to take over his heart although sex is the subject matter and not the theme of the poem. Marvell's point is clearly stated that instead of dividing our lives or moral values into artificial categories of present and future, we should savor the unique experiences of each present moment and let love take us to where it wants to take us. In the poem, the speaker dehumanizes the mistress through a manipulative love poem. At first glance, "To His Coy Mistress" appears to be a formal, lyric love letter. Early in the poem the speaker (the man addressing his mistress) expresses his plan of what he would do with her if they, "Had we but world enough, and time" (428). He brings up time in order to emphasize the amount of attention he would give to her if only he had the means. Obviously he does not have all the time in the world, so he attempts to replace action with words and begins by adoring her body. This quote in the poem foreshadows an appreciation of paradox for the reader since the speaker is talking of a timeless world that does not exist. The speaker tells the mistress how long his love will grow, and how vast it will become. The poem gives a clear picture of the kind of woman his mistress is. She has been encouraging his advances to a certain point, but then when he gets too close, she backs off, and resists those same advances. Evidently, this has been going on for quite some time, as Marvell now feels it necessary to broach the topic in this poem. This is perhaps one of the most interesting poems about love...
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