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Beggar Woman and To His Coy Mistress.

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Introduction

Beggar Woman and To His Coy Mistress. The first thing that strikes when you read these 17th Century poems is the theme of pre 19th century gentlemen's attitudes towards sex and personal relationships, where women are the ones who are held responsible for sexual morality. The "Beggar Woman" and "To His Coy Mistress", are both poems which deal with relationships between men and women. When the poems were written, society was very difference; women did not have status or independence, it was a society dominated by males, in all aspects of life. The Beggar Woman is a very good example which defines the different status between men and women at the time. The similarity between the two poems is that they show how experiences of love and relationships for men and women, mirrored the roles each sex played in other areas of life. The man who is featured in this poem is very "high" up in society due to his wealthy background. However, you wouldn't be led to think this as what he is after isn't very "upper class". "For he himself had other game in view", here there is no doubt he certain means for the beggar woman and the author has cleverly played with words here too. The fact the man had originally gone out into the woods hunting with his fellow gentleman, the author decides to play with the words here, and uses the term game to refer to the game of hunting, and game, as if having sex with this woman is a game, indicating he thinks that this beggar woman is a prostitute. King deliberately and continuously emphasises on the word "gentleman" as he is trying to show he's not acting very gentleman like. When he talks to the woman, he refers to her as "Mistress". The reason he is being so polite is because he wants to have sex with her. Obviously, this shows his view on women; that they're there to be used at men's pleasure. ...read more.

Middle

In one extract from To His Coy Mistress, he explains that if they were to have sex, we would adore her very much, "Two hundred to adore each breast: But thirty thousand to the rest" This is a classic example, and he even uses sexual innuendo. What it means is, if the woman were to have sex with him, he would adore her very much, so much he would adore each breast for two hundred years, and thirty thousand to the rest of her body. Another classic example, suggesting what the gentleman would do if they were to have sex is, "My vegetable love should grow, Vaster than empires, and more slow." This example means that his love for her may grow slow, but bigger than empires. He compares his love growing like a vegetable, which constitutes the idea that his love is like a plant; growing and expanding constantly, but slowly naturally, and hopefully developing into something fruitful. However this can only happen if there is enough time for him to do so. At line 21, a new section begins; the second, or "but" section, which basically explains, "but we don't have enough time". And so the man attempts to convince his mistress by using the time they have, by charming her. One classic example is the gentleman suggests that if the woman were not to have sex with him, that she wouldn't have sex again, "Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound My echoing song: then worms shall try, That long-preserved virginity." Graphic as this line is, what he explains is that if the woman weren't to have sex with him, she would never lose her virginity, except for when she dies, and she is underground, were the worms can get to her, and they will take her virginity. Though this may sound rude and vulgar, it is the intended effect, so that he can frighten her into having sex with him. ...read more.

Conclusion

him, and leaves him stranded with the baby, whereas in To His Coy Mistress, the man attempts to flatter the woman, and even cleverly arranges his argument into a syllogism, but in the end, it's the decision of the woman, and she can either say yes, and agree with the man, or just simply turn him down, and he can't do much about that. The fact that both men only want the women for sex, really just sums up the rights of women pre 17th Century. They clearly were just thought as objects, things just used for either sex or some form of entertainment, for men, rich wealthy ones in particular. Well in these cases, the women have the upper hand, and in the Beggar Woman, the woman attempts to teach the man a lesson, while in To His Coy Mistress, the man tries and attempts to convince the woman to go to bed with him. Clever it may seem, but it's the woman's decision if she wants to or not. Despite being written hundred of years ago, both poems raise relevant and contemporary issues about relationships. It shows clearly the males dominated society, and used women for sex. The point of view shown in the Beggar Woman is quite unacceptable, as the man, deliberately lost his way, to find a prostitute to have sex with. In my opinion, the way shown in To His Coy Mistress, is a lot more politer and acceptable. Some of the points of view shown in this that can be applied to modern day society is the fact that people need to take responsibility of there actions; in the poems, its is just the women that take action for consequences they only had half a part in, not the men, who contribute to the other half. As modern readers, we can learn to take responsibility, and the consequences of sex. This can help raise the profile of using protection and contraception, for modern day teenage readers like me. ...read more.

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