The Latin term carpe diem is a descriptive word for literature that presses readers to
"seize the moment." It mainly tries to pursue a woman or women that they have true physical
beauty and should take advantage of their good looks now before time will take a toll on them.
The word carpe diem puts impact on examples of both poems of, "To the Virgins, to Make Much
of Time" by Robert Herrick, and "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell. Herrick's poem,
"To The Virgins, to Make Much of Time," portrays carpe diem by citing the shortness of life and
persuading young women to marry and enjoy the life of youth at its advantage before death takes
its turn. In the poem "To His Coy Mistress", Marvell consist more traits of carpe diem by
persuading a certain woman in being his wife. He uses examples of time and age diminishing
her beauty and youth and will leave her with nothing left. They both compare to each other by
making the most of each moment before old age and beauty disappears.
Herrick's "To The Virgins, to Make Much of Time" fits the meaning of carpe diem
by encouraging the beauty of youth and life itself. His calm and moralizing detachment from
the personal environment pursues his own view of time and life.
Then not be coy but use your time, And, while ye may, go marry: For having lost but once your prime You may forever tarry.
He urges young virgins to be held in the hand of marriage to fulfill life. Love life, marry life. He
encourages young women to experience life to the fullest extent of their
existence. If they don't take up that chance then they might have to wait on for a long time. It's
hard to fine good opportunities, and therefore, Herrick exalts women to "seize the moment" in l
life itself. Nevertheless he wants women to marry but stay a virgin for once it's used up it will be
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, The higher he's a-getting, The sooner will his race be run, And the nearer he's to setting.
Carpe diem is represented in these lines by telling that death can come at any time so youth
should not be wasted upon. Virgins should spend their time racing with the sun and living every
moment of life because, in Herrick's description, it's unpredictable to foretell when death will
arrive. His summary of the sun describe being a virgin to life and marriage. His words consist
characteristics that he propose should be treasured, protected, and useful.
Herrick's poem encourages the carpe diem style of other English poets as well and
brought it to a better extent. For instance, Andrew Marvell's English poetry of, "To His Coy
Mistress", sets aside more of a moral consideration of carpe diem. He portrays a personal
situation addressing to one woman he desires and tries to persuade her into loving him. His
warrior like tone suggests her temperament to make love, despite of her own hesitation.
Now let us sport us while we may, And now, like amorous birds of prey, Rather at once our time devour Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
The patience driving through the speaker can no longer be extended. He feels that he must have
the mistress or he won't be satisfied like the "amours birds of prey" he compare to as them. His
eagerness of wanting the mistress had him quote some arguments of her temporary and physical...
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