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Marvell Coy Mistress

2 Pages 540 Words


At first glance, Andrew Marvel's poem "To His Coy Mistress" is a fairly typical carpe diem poem, in which the speaker tells his beloved that they should "seize the day" and have sex now instead of waiting until they are married.. Marvell, however, isn't suggesting that unbridled lust is preferable to moral or ethical restraint; sex is the subject matter, not the theme of the poem. Marvell's actual point here is that instead of dividing our lives or our values into mathematically neat but artificial categories of present and future, we should savor the unique experiences of each present moment; to convey this theme, the poet uses irregularities of rhyme, rhythm, and meter to undermine the mathematically neat but artificial patterns of the poem. This is also an extremely interesting and enticing poem about love. Love is perhaps the most clich├ęd topic of poetry, but Marvell does an excellent job of making his thoughts unique and original. The poem divides up into three main parts!
, each with a slightly different tone/main idea. The emotion and passion conveyed is ambiguous, and the overall tone is closer to melancholy than joy. He praises and plans, but the overarching reminder is of the temporality of our lives. The final part of the poem represents how the author and his mistress plan to spend this fleeting time and is the most interesting philosophical presentation of the poem. The poem contains many lines, which deal with seemingly happy and hopeful ideas, but several lines placed at intervals throughout the poem crush any chance of a joyful light pervading the poem. The mood of the poem is set with the very first couplet:
Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime
The first line is really the key. It will set the stage for the rest of the poem, no matter what the subsequent lines have to say. Marvell quickly establishes a mood of pessimistic realization of reality. In his apostrophe he states that his m...

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