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

A Comparison of Two Pre-1990 Poems

Extracts from this document...


A Comparison of Two Pre-1990 Poems The two poems that will be analysed are 'Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvel and 'Sonnet 130' by William Shakespeare. Both of these poems are written in the 17th century. This is a period of time when perspectives and attitudes were extremely varied amongst people. This was a time when women were perceived as objects and nothing more, they were just toys to play with and when you did not want to play anymore, you would ignore them. Women had no rights. The dominating sex were the males, they won every arguments or dispute against the opposite gender. To briefly summarise 'Coy Mistress' by Marvell, it is a love sonnet, but with a twist. Of course Marvell used flattery to get the attention of this woman, but he went onto using 'shocking tactics' to get his woman. He ends the poem with lines explaining to the woman to 'make the most of the future'. Whereas 'sonnet 130' by Shakespeare describes his woman as having many faults and imperfections, but even then he loves her all the same. Firstly, I will start off by discussing the two titles of the poem, 'Sonnet 130' and 'To His Coy Mistress'. Shakespeare's poem 'Sonnet 103' was entitled this either on purpose or he had forgotten about naming the poem and in later years a title was given to it, we do not know. ...read more.


The middle of 'Sonnet130' is very much the same as the beginning, picking at the woman's faults instead of her fine qualities. Although among all the faults there is a compliment, nearer to the end of the poem Shakespeare adds 'Never have I seen a goddess go.' Implying she is a goddess, that she has a beauty incomparable to others. Even with all of the woman's blemishes Shakespeare she can still be compared to a higher more beautiful being. At this point in the poem we start to get the implication that this lady could be of an ethnic origin. For instance, Shakespeare says, very near the beginning, that 'If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun.' 'Dun' being a brown colour; if her breasts are brown, surely then the rest of her body is the same colour. Also to back up this idea of the woman being of an ethnic origin, Shakespeare describes her hair, 'Black wires grow on her head.' Textured similar to a wire, this may mean she has afro like hair. These quotes are ambivalent, many people in the 17th century had never seen a black woman before, and now to hear Shakespeare writing a poem about a dark coloured woman, would be surprising. For a love poem, Marvell's definitely starts well, but when it comes to mid way through the poem we see it is far from the ordinary. ...read more.


Shakespeare exalts his mistress at the end to add emphasis on how great the woman is. Marvell's can be a very controversial subject. It most probably ended the utter flattery of the Petarchan style. He has cleverly modified the style into his own different original style. Marvell uses the Petarchan style in the beginning of his poem, but with certain sarcasm to it, he uses many hyperboles, to an extent that it seems to be insulting what he is saying. The mistress may not have been extremely intelligent and could have really taken what Marvell said to heart, but the more intellectual among the crowds would realise Marvell is just having some fun, with an exaggeration of sarcasm. Similarly 'Sonnet 130' is totally different to an average poem found in the 17th century. Shakespeare correspondingly to Marvell, took the Petarchan style and developed it into his own. Unlike Marvell's poem which was aimed at the upper-class, I feel that this poem is fit for the lower class audience, the hyperboles of the appearance of the woman seem to be what people who have not much intellect or class would think. Upper class members would feel disrespected by the comments in the poem, they certainly would frown upon the poem centred around a black person, the lower class being more understanding will understand the metaphors, and it is every day they would compare the woman to every day objects, for example the wires, an every day object used to describe the hair texture of the woman. . ...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 Andrew Marvell 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 Andrew Marvell essays

  1. Sinking Boat Saves the Day

    There was a light on their boat, and Ollie could see that there was another four chests still on the boat. Andrew was thinking of a plan to get their selves off of the island, and to get the criminals locked up.

  2. A Comparison of Two Love Poems

    These phrases with more then one meaning are called 'double ententres' or double meanings. Marvell uses them all though the poem. The 'But' section of the poem says that they don't have forever because everyone's going to die eventually: "But at my back I always hear Times wing�d chariot hurrying

  1. Men and their desperate acts for sex in the 17th century with reference to; ...

    next section of 'To his Coy Mistress' with the use of the word "embrace", but he also shows a certain degree of humour within the irony by pointing out the idea that the grave is a good place for a sexual liaison, but unfortunately the ability and desire for this has disappeared.

  2. Beggar Woman and To His Coy Mistress.

    The speaker in "To His Coy Mistress" also appears as in "The Beggar Woman" to be taking the lead in pursuing this relationship. The speaker in "To His Coy Mistress" works hard and cleverly to try and convince the woman to have sex with him.

  1. Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) and Christina Walsh (1750-1800?) Poetry comparison

    away and she starts to ramble on depicting her ideal marriage, repeating the keyword "And" in this way her paragraph becomes list-like and this could lose the interest of the reader. "And our co-equal love will make the stars to laugh with joy And we shall have the music of

  2. A comparison of two poems about love.

    the woman begins all her arguments mostly with 'although' and then stating her view. The first line of each stanza is either 'I said' or 'she said'. This helps to show which voice is speaking. The woman however, says that all damage leaves scars behind - things can never go back to their original state.

  1. Shakespearean Sonnet 130 Explication

    Of particular interest in the sestet is the section that compares his mistress with a goddess - "I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground." This suggests that his mistress is completely human, and hints at the idea that some of the normal comparisons are unrealistic.

  2. Compare 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell with 'Sonnet 138' by William Shakespeare. ...

    also making a joke about her, making fun of wanting to wait. 'The grave's a fine and private place, But none, I think, do these embrace' This line is saying that a grave is a fine place if you want privacy and a place to be alone, but it is

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