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

Compare and contrast John Donne's 'The Flea' and Andrew Marvell's 'To His Coy Mistress'; Deciding which you feel is the most seductive.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and contrast John Donne's 'The Flea' and Andrew Marvell's 'To His Coy Mistress'; Deciding which you feel is the most seductive. Andrew Marvell and John Donne were two prominent members of the metaphysical movement and they wrote the poems "To His Coy Mistress" and "The Flea" respectively. The two poems are based on the idea of seduction and both express their different views making the poems contrasting to one another. John Donne's and Andrew Marvell's poems both use their metaphysical views to mock the concept of courtly love. Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress" describes the poet's impatient desire for furthering his relationship with his "coy mistress." Marvell is adamant in his persuasion, using the conceit of time and progression to seduce and persuade his reluctant mistress. John Donne's "The Flea" is a first person narrative and a direct address to a woman where the poet concentrates on one metaphor; the flea. He uses the flea as an argument to persuade his mistress, explaining how the flea has bitten both of them and now has their "bloods mingled" inside, using this as a reason for them to engage in sex. The layout of each poem is definitely significant. Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress" is a first person narrative, addressing his love to his mistress directly. ...read more.

Middle

He asks her to engage in sex with him before time runs out and compares himself to "strength" and her to "sweetness." Marvell concludes with the use of personification in the line "...we cannot make our sun stand still, yet we will make him run." This line also concludes his feelings and his solution to his argument as he believes that even though they cannot stop time, they should still make use of it by having fun and enjoying themselves. John Donne's "The Flea," similarly to Marvell's poem, shows a progression of persistency in each of the three stanzas. The first stanza of Donne's poem begins by Donne telling the woman to notice the flea; "Mark but this flea, and mark in this." In the next few lines, Donne conveys the thought of the woman's virginity being as significant as the flea; "How little that which thou deny'st me is; me it sucked first, and now sucks thee." Here he is referring to the flea bites. Donne describes the union of himself and the woman since the flea has "our two bloods mingled." The use of this extended metaphor is Donne's way of saying that now that the flea has both their bloods "mingled" they should have sex. He tells her to "confess it" referring to the fact that he feels she knows that they should be together now. ...read more.

Conclusion

The three stanzas of each poem all show progression of feelings and stages of seduction. Another similarity is that both poets use many poetic techniques such as metaphors, similes and personification. The structure of Marvell's poem is slightly different in that it does not have a fixed amount of lines per stanza unlike the other two poets. Marvell uses a variety of poetic techniques such as hyperbolic language unlike the other two poets who use monosyllabic language and simpler sentence structures. My preference of two poems, and the one I feel to be the most seductive is Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress." I believe the content of the poem is excellent as the progression of Marvell's frustration is clearly evident in each of the three stanzas. This is coupled with sentiments of the poem conveying a significant insight into Marvell's thoughts. My decision is based on the varied language Marvell has used. I feel it is very effective as there is a good and varied use of poetic techniques in conjunction with effective sentence structure. This all combines to make the poem more enjoyable to read and in terms of seduction, a much more effective seduction poem because of it. I prefer this poem to the other two because I believe John Donne used a lack of poetic techniques and his poem "The Flea" is not very seductive as he ends his poem in becoming desperate and pleading with the woman, a sharp contrast to how the first two stanzas began. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Which of 'The Sun Rising' by John Donne and 'To His Coy Mistress' by ...

    Marvell infers that life is too short and you should act now while you are young and passionate. The middle section consists of lines 21-33 and this is called the antithesis. Beforehand, the author said what he would do if he had time but now Marvell tells us that time is moving rapidly.

  2. Compare and Contrast 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell with 'To His Mistress ...

    However the combination of the explicit sexual content, graphic imagery and the archaic English makes more of an impact, it makes more of an impression than if it was written in Modern English. At a first glance, even though 'To His Coy Mistress' is a much more sinister poem, because

  1. The Metaphysical Poets: John Donne and Andrew Marvell.

    in lines 28 and 29, and I quote, "And your quaint honour turn to dust, And into ashes all my lust..." This is referring to her in the grave having turned into ashes, and her 'honour', that is her virginity has turned to dust, in other words she has lost

  2. Compare (find the similarities) and contrast (find the differences) between the poetic techniques of ...

    poets, from optimistic to pessimistic in each stanza of "To the Virgins..." and then from understanding to arrogant between the first and second stanzas of "To his Coy Mistress." These varied moods create the right atmosphere for the poets to voice their opinions by adoring and flattering the women or

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

    Mistress' is set out in 3 stages and most lines are in couplets. Both have a certain number of syllables per line. In 'Sonnet 138' its ten syllables per line whereas in 'To His Coy Mistress' its 8 syllables per line.

  2. Compare Ideas and Images in the Six Metaphysical Love Poems

    In A Prospect Of Flowers: "Lest Flora angry at thy crime, To kill her infants in their prime," Here, the poet is saying that once the youthful innocence of young girls is lost, their beauty disappears. Marvell implies that to remove this innocence at an early age would be to kill them, as they no longer appear attractive.

  1. Free essay

    To his coy mistress by Andrew Marvell

    In beginning of the second stanza the reader realizes the man and his mistress need to face the morality of life. The poet exclaims time does not allow humans the pleasure of facing life with an unending grace, but rather time is a "winged chariot" that quickly flies towards their end.

  2. The seventeenth century was an era of beautiful poetry by important poets such as ...

    He wrote many texts, poems, play etc. and become a giant name in 17th century and in whole of the English literature. After having a quick look to some important writers of the time, now I'll finally examine 3 works from 2 different poets of 17th century. I've tried to choose the ones that I loved most.

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