Words on "To His Coy Mistress"

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Words on "To His Coy Mistress"

Ryan Schmidt
English 114
David Upchurch
10/2/96

Either you have sex with me or you die. This is a very strong statement which, when said, has to get someone's attention; and that is exactly what Andrew Marvell intends for the reader in this poem. He wants the undivided attention of this mistress so that he can scare her and rush her into making a decision the way he wants and in due time. Filled with time flavored symbolism, this carpe diem poem, "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell, exemplifies the seize the day theme.

The cyclical, life symbolizing river, the water flowing by like time, is the first place Marvell places the characters. And even though they are very far apart, time still flows by for them both. As the water flows, this concept begins to hint at the shortness of time, for them to have sex, the source of new life. He then proceeds to claim that he could love her ten years before the flood, something already ancient, and up to the end of the world, using the juxtapositioning of the two views of time enhance his argument and to convince to accept his offer by telling her of his long-term commitment for her in the short-term. This flood also symbolizes life in the fresh start of the new covenant. Because time keeps going, with or without them, they must be active participants and not just the static spectator. Otherwise, the fate Marvell relates would become their reality.

Marvell's vegetable love is rather oxymoronic. Love is not normally like the uncaring, thoughtless, and noncommunicating plant. And yet his love is vegetable in that it is not adaptable. She is the water, food, and light for his love; and as long as she is there, he will love her. She is evrerything that supports his love, and if she is not there, his vegetable could not be supported and would die. His idea of love seems to just be to say that he loves her for the possibility that he...
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