• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month


Extracts from this document...


'TO HIS COY MISTRESS' by Andrew Marvell - A POEM OF SEDUCTION Using persuasive and powerful imagery and language, Andrew Marvell writes a highly emotional poem of love. The person in the poem seems to be trying to court the love of a lady. The highly descriptive, at times even horrific detailing and imagery are his attempt to convince this lady that there is nothing he would not do for her affection. The poem is therefore an attempt to seduce the lady. In the opening lines, Marvell laments "Had we but World enough and Time" then this "coyness" or seduction would not be a "crime". He goes on to describe what he would do if he only had the time of a "long Love's Day". Using exotic locations such as the "Indian Ganges", he talks of how he would love her forever. However, he vows that he will love her from "ten years before the Flood" which ended the first period of the Earth, "till the Conversion of the Jews". This encompasses a colossal amount of time, further exemplifying the undying quality of his love - an eternal love. At another level, perhaps it is the inaccessibility (in that time period) ...read more.


His vision now changes to into "Desarts of Eternity" where his lady's beauty "shall no more be found". The imagery now transforms to one of unhappiness and death. Using graphic imagery of the "marble vault" in which they will be buried and "worms" eating their dead bodies - Marvell is trying to convey his message of urgency and mortality. The urgency is that of time flying by. He seems to be trying to remind his lady that time is of essence in this life. Thus, his seduction moves into a higher gear as he pressures her with dire warnings of what time will do to them. He visualized being dead and lying in a grave with worms everywhere. Their bodies "turn to dust" and "into ashes all my lust". He is in a sense warning her too return his mortal love or face having never loved before she dies and turns to dust. The talk of deserts and turning to ashes and dust implies a total lack of water. This is opposite to the first part of the poem that is awash with images of flowing water. Perhaps it is symbolic of his ever flowing love and a never-ending life that he dreams of, where time goes on forever. ...read more.


He wants to guide her through the "Iron gates of Life" as her husband. While they cannot command time to "Stand still", it cannot stop them from loving each other. However, they can make "him run", by living their life to the fullest and happiest possible. Which he implies is by fulfilling their love. The reader is left with an image of the two lovers fleeing the sunset and the night. An image of darkness that is possibly symbolic of the end of time or perhaps even Armageddon. A close reading of this poem allows us to realize the lengths that the poet will go to for the love of this woman. He tries all methods of seduction. He muses about a beautiful and undying eternal love and a wonderful life together. Then he rejects the notion of eternal love as he realizes he is mortal and that life passes by quickly and ends in death. He stresses that moral love will die with death - therefore he pleads with his love to respond to him. He tried to seduce her with images of death as an alternative to his love. He wants her to live for the moment because life ends too soon. Thus using such persuasive and powerful imagery, Andrew Marvel piece is one of intense seduction. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Love Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Love Poetry essays

  1. Compare and contrast the attempts at seduction in To His Coy Mistress and The ...

    showing that the speaker has no issues with death and the grave except that "none I think do there embrace" (32). This explanation of death in this context leads onto a necessary conclusion that, if they are to have sex, it must be while they are still alive, and, as

  2. Compare the different approaches to love in 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell ...

    In the period of Marvell, poets were expected to be witty. All the material had some 'wit', which was a very important part of the poem. Marvell uses references to the 'flood' and to the 'conversation to the Jews' which is a clever but witty image rather than usage of

  1. Poetry "to his coy mistress" and "the seduction".

    He says he would walk until long loves day. He's saying that he would wait if he had time. He would love her "ten years before the flood" this means that if he had met her earlier then he would of loved her for longer and wouldn't be rushing her for sex now.

  2. Discuss the similarities and differences between "The Arch Deceiver" and "Seduction".

    He muttered little slag." He doesn't care for her at all, treats her in any way he pleases which she accepts graciously believing deeply that this is love. She falls for him based on his appearance "... she fell in love with his eyes as blue as iodine" "quite

  1. Comparing between Freedom and Lady of Shalott

    The opposite of being lost was "my way lies plain". The best feeling is when you know where you are going and what you are doing. The opposite of tortured was "I am eased of pain". Again when we felt better after an illness we are happy.

  2. “Shall I compare thee...?” and “My Mistress’ eyes...”

    In the sonnet, he describes the beauty of the woman and he debates whether or not to compare her to a summer's day. Shakespeare uses imagery in the poem, so that we can "see" the summer day, and understand what he is comparing to his love.

  1. Compare and contrast ‘To His Coy Mistress’ by Andrew Marvell with ‘The Sun Rising’ ...

    'The Sun Rising' uses Indian images in a more sensual manner, 'whether both th'Indias of spice and mine'. 'The Sun Rising' describes two lovers being awakened by the rising sun, to which the lover is justly perturbed. He portrays this by saying, 'Busy old fool, unruly sun', letting out his frustration on the unwelcome intruder.

  2. Examine the arguments for love in the seventeenth century lyrical poems ‘The Sun Rising’ ...

    The poem is symmetrical with three regular stanza's each containing a rhyme scheme of 'ABBACDCDEE'. This rhyme scheme repetition helps the poem flow and makes it easier to read. The rhyming couplet at the end helps round off each stanza, emphasising it is the end of that stanza and the start of a new idea.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work