To Virgins, to make much of time by Robert Herrick
How does the poet present the importance of youth in this poem? The poem To Virgins, to make much of time was written by Robert Herrick in 1648. In the 17th Century, women had very short life expectancy so they were told to make the most out of their short life. This was also around the time that women were seen as failures if they did not marry, so they would usually marry as young as aged 12. The message of this poem is telling the audience to have sex while they are young and beautiful, to enjoy life and to take advantage of the opportunities they have. Carpe diem is the message focused on throughout the poem, ‘Carpe diem’ means seize the day in Greek. This iambic meter is written in four quatrains. There is enjambment in every stanza meaning that each stanza is one sentence long. This helps the poem to have a fast pace, reflecting the message of the poem – how quick life goes and the importance of youth. The poem is written in the rhyming scheme A-B; this gives the poem a light hearted tone but still has a serious message behind it. This poem is called ‘To Virgins, to make much of time’; this telling the readers what the intended audience of the poem is. The preposition at the start of the title ‘To’ is addressing the group of people the poem is about and the proper noun ‘Virgins’ suggests the poem is addressing Virgins, whom are young females that have not have sex. So, by using this proper noun, the audience will have the image of young women in their heads throughout the poem. The first stanza starts with the line ‘Gather ye rose buds’. An imperative mood is created in this line, commanding the intended audience that virgins only have a short time. The metaphor ‘rosebuds’ is used to compare the rosebuds to marriage, the ‘Virgins’ only have so much time to get married just like rosebuds only have so much time to be picked. In the third line of the first stanza, Herrick uses personification in...
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