Marvell Essay Research Paper To His Coy

Marvell Essay, Research Paper

?To His Coy Mistress?

Andrew Marvell wrote his short poem ?To His Coy

Mistress? in a certain way to receive the answer that he

wanted out of his mistress. Marvell uses meter, imagery,

and tone to persuade his lady to further commit in their

relationship. This poem has a very strong carpe diem, or

seize the day, theme which is conveyed throughout the poem.

In general, the meter of the poem is iambic tetrameter.

Marvell uses pauses as well as runs one line into the next

without a pause to break up the neat pattern that the rhyme

scheme of the poem imposes. The first two lines, for

example, contain internal pauses that break the tetrameter

into shorter units; ?Had we but world enough, and time,

This coyness, lady, were no crime.? The third line contains

no pauses and runs directly into the forth, so that the

rhyme runs opposite the rhythm of the couplet. Near the end

of the poem, the lines seem to be coming out faster than at

the beginning, creating a sense of urgency from the speaker.

These last few lines are the lines in which the speaker

talks about how the two should seize the day, and live life

to the fullest.

The use of imagery throughout the poem is an effective

means of conveying his message to the lady. His references

to the Great Flood and the conversion of the Jews are both

examples of biblical imagery. His eternal love towards the

lady is backed up by the timelessness of the Bible. The

references of the tomb are perhaps the greatest images of

all, the images of death. Nothing depicts the urgency and

shortness of life better than death. Images that are

implied in the last stanza are those of a race against time.

The goal is to try to beat time, and though time will

eventually win, the ?runners? must try to keep up with time

for as long as possible. And because no way exists to beat

time, Marvell suggests that they must live life to the


Marvell?s excellent use of tone helps to prove his

argument with his mistress. In the first section, the poem

takes a loving, romantic tone. ?We would sit down, and

think which way to walk, and pass our long love?s day.?

Marvell?s romantic style of writing helps to prove his

debate that he loves his mistress more than anything in the

world. The tone undergoes a drastic change in the second

stanza. ?I always hear time?s winged chariot hurrying

near.? This quote from the poem describes how Marvell fears

the shortness of life, and the lack of time with which the

two lovers have to share together. His deathly tone is

effective because of the inevitability of death in

everybody?s life. The last section is a call to action,

?thus, though we cannot make out sun stand still, yet we

will make him run.? Lines like these create a tone of an

urgent need to get as much done as possible, which is very

similar to the carpe diem theme.

Marvell?s poem, written almost 500 years ago, is still

a great, somewhat controversial poem. The content of the

poem is timeless, and is still a very realistic poem. The

carpe diem theme of the poem is one of the reasons that the

poem remains appropriate no matter when it is read.








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