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A comparison of the persuasive techniques used in 'To His Coy Mistress' and 'An Answer to a Love Letter'.

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Introduction

A comparison of the persuasive techniques used in 'To His Coy Mistress' and 'An Answer to a Love Letter' 'To His Coy Mistress' is a poem written by Andrew Marvell in the 17th Century whereas 'An Answer to a Love Letter' was written by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu in the 18th Century. Marvell's poem is about a man trying to woo a woman into sleeping with him whereas Lady Montagu's poem is a woman rejecting a man's advances in the form of a love letter. Just before 'An Answer to a Love Letter' was written Lady Montagu split up with her husband and this could be a link between the poem and her divorce. In 'To His Coy Mistress' Marvell uses flattery to try and entice the woman into sleeping with him: "...An age at least to every part..." Here Marvell is trying to put across that she is so beautiful that she deserves a vast amount of attention. He says this because he knows he will never pay her any attention, as he will have her and then be off. In the same way in 'An Answer to a Love Letter' Lady Montagu also uses flattery but in this instance to try and push her 'lover' away: "...A plenteous fortune and a beautiful bride..." ...read more.

Middle

He also ensures her that his love will only get stronger with time, but every moment that they are apart, his heart grows ever fonder. Furthermore, he is using the idea that she will laugh at this unromantic image of love and give in to his desires. In a similar manner, ' An Answer to a Love Letter' also employs humour but not in an amiable way, but to criticise someone: "...Why should poor pug (the mimic of your kind) Wear a rough chain, and to box confin'd..." Here, Lady Montagu tries to explain that why should dogs wear a coarse collar and chain while a man should be allowed to roam free, when man is just the same as a dog. However, the tone of the joke changes when she talks about the destroyer that is man: "...While roves unpunish'd the destroyer, man..." This makes the tone sad and full of anger as opposed to a light humoured comment. Bullying is used by both Andrew Marvell and Lady Montagu to try and oppress the person to give in to their demands. In 'To His Coy Mistress' Marvell uses the idea that if he will not have her then no-one will have her: "...Thy beauty shall no more be found..." ...read more.

Conclusion

He also makes this gesture as to claim that this would vent out his frustration and also satisfy his needs. In 'An Answer to a Love Letter' Lady Montagu uses an oxymoron to talk about stealing and robbing: "...And ask so boldly like a begging thief..." This is quite a strange statement, as you cannot really have a begging thief. What Lady Montagu channels to us by this oxymoron is that a man asks and begs for it and then steals it away. If she says no, he will do it anyway. Overall, I think that both poems are a really good insight into what sex was about and stood for in the 17th Century and the 18th Century and shows the powerful way in which writers can convey a sense of meaning and a deeper meaning even just scraping through the surface. In 'To His Coy Mistress' I quite like the way in which Marvell uses rhyming couplets to echo the passing of time and also represents two people. In addition, I like 'An Answer to a Love Letter', in the sense that it is all about stealing and thieves which is what a man is according to her. Personally I think that 'To His Coy Mistress' was a better poem as it uses more colourful language and has a more extensive vocabulary, and I also like the way in which it was written. By Jamie Connolly 10Red Mrs Lucas Coursework IV I ...read more.

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