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A Comparison of Persuasive Techniques in 'To His Coy Mistress' and 'An Answer To A Love Letter'

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A Comparison of Persuasive Techniques in 'To His Coy Mistress' and 'An Answer To A Love Letter' 'To His Coy Mistress' is a poem written by Andrew Marvell (1621 - 1678). From the poem, it can be seen that he is trying to persuade his mistress to have sex with him. Although the male persona that reveals this story, the intent of Marvell was probably for humour and as entertainment for others. 'An Answer To A Love Letter' is another poem, written by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689 - 1762), but in contrast to Marvell's, it is used to reject an admirer's interest and could be seen as a reply. The poem describes how a female persona declines an admirer. While this story takes place, Montagu simultaneously rebukes men in general. This inclination may have been caused by her bad experiences in marriage. Both poems use persuasion, although for different purposes. Andrew Marvell was born at Winestead-in-Holderness, Yorkshire, on March 31, 1621. At 3 years old, he moved to Hull where his father, Reverend Andrew Marvell became a lecturer at Holy Trinity Church. Andrew Marvell was educated at Hull Grammar School and studied at Trinity College in Cambridge. Two poems that he had written, one in Greek and one in Latin, were printed in 1637. The next year he was accepted as a Scholar of Trinity College and took his B.A. ...read more.


In addition to the line before ("heaven's choicest gifts"), Montagu uses this form of persuasion to try to declare that 'you are rich and married with everything that you need. You do not need me as well.' Flattery in 'To His Coy Mistress' can be seen by: "An hundred years should go to praise Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze: Two hundred to adore each breast: But thirty thousand to the rest;" This hyperbole carries on Marvell's first stanza of planning what his mistress and him would do if they had eternity. He would spend a hundred years admiring her eyes and forehead (which were considered to be an object of sexuality in those times) and two hundred years on each breast and thirty thousand years for the rest of her body. What this is basically implying is that his mistress' body and features are so good that they would take so many years to worship in an attempt to make the female persona give in to his persuasion. He also writes: "For, lady, you deserve this state, Nor would I love at lower rate." This suggests that Marvell feels that his mistress is worth all his love and effort and worth all the things he said before. Although both poems include flattery, it is more evident that there are more examples of it in "To His Coy Mistress" than "An Answer to A Love Letter". ...read more.


He then goes on to his second stanza where he reveals that they do not have much time left and her consequences if she does not have sex with him. Then the third stanza is where Marvell concludes and reveals that she should have sex with him while she is young and able and not regret it if she does not and carry her virginity to the grave. Marvell moves from being romantic and passionate to aggressive and threatening before ending in a suggestive tone. This is what he does in an attempt to seduce his mistress and lure her into bed. This is also true of Montagu's poem. In the same way, Montagu's logical argument is shown by the structure. Montagu has different sections in her poem and although she has not split it into stanzas, the divisions are quite obvious. The first section is about the admirer, how he has everything, is married and should not try to seduce her. She then scolds men in general in the next section, insulting men and showing her disgust. In her next section, she describes how she had been hurt before, how someone has already taken her heart and broken it. She tells how she feels men lie and deceive in the following section before ending with a section on the consequences. Although both do use logical argument, it is more evident in "To His Coy Mistress" as his is split into the different stanzas while "An Answer To A Love Letter" is not. Nim Joe Man Coursework 10 Green Mrs Lucas Page 1 of 4 ...read more.

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