To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time
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“To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” by Robert Herrick is a poem that can be interpreted in many different ways. The theme is “Carpe Diem” or “seize the day”, which means to make the most of life, when you are young and able to do so.
“To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” has various meanings; it is assumed that “the Virgins” are the young and inexperienced people in life, not just the ones that have not yet experienced the ways of sexual intimacy. “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may”, which is the first line of the stanza, illustrates a person taking advantage of life when he or she is still young. The “rosebud” represents youth and life, because a rosebud is the early stage of a flower. Herrick tries to make the point, that if it is not gotten today, it might not be there tomorrow. The first and second stanzas illustrate how young “virgins” should not wait to take advantage of life, because one day they will realize that it is too late. The third and fourth stanzas are the consequences of a person’s failure to “seize the day”. “But being spent, the worse, the worst” and “times still succeed the former” are the consequences of a person’s failure to “seize the day” in the third stanza. “Spent” and “worse” are words that show if a person does not capitalize on his or her chances to “seize the day”, “the worst times will succeed the former”, in other words, he or she will regret it the rest of their life. The third and the fourth stanzas represent a consequence if a person fails to “seize the day”, “then not be coy, but use your time” is the first line of the stanza and it tells a
person not to be dishonest with one and to use your time while you can. “While ye may, go marry”, means to do something with your life while you can. The stanza and the poem end with the line “you may forever tarry” which is the consequence if a person does not...
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