Compare and contrast the following two poems - 'Even Tho' by Grace Nichols and 'To his Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell.
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Pre AND Post 1900 Comparative Essay In this essay, I have chosen to compare and contrast the following two poems - 'Even Tho' by Grace Nichols and 'To his Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell. These two poems were roughly written three centuries apart, and so the social factors and religious beliefs as well as other things were different. Therefore different ideas would be portrayed in the poems. In the 17th century when 'To his Cot Mistress' was written, women were not known for writing poems about love let alone sex, as women's opinions weren't respected. If a woman was sent a poem like the one that Andrew Marvell wrote, then she would probably go weak at the knees and do whatever was asked of her. However, in the late 20th century, when 'Even Tho' was written, women's opinions and rights were respected in society and more and more female poets emerged with some ideas that were once thought unacceptable for women. One other main factor that affected the ideas portrayed in these poems is partly to do with religion and partly to do with what used to be thought of as socially acceptable and what is thought as socially acceptable now.
In my opinion, both poems may well be seen as relatively offensive because they are very biased as they only take into account their own opinions. What about the other person in the relationship? They may desire something different! 'To his Coy Mistress' is especially offensive because the poet's requirements are just sexual pleasure. As is to be expected, the language of these two poems is very different in many ways. The vocabulary in 'To his Coy Mistress' is very dated as the poem was written in the mid 17th century. Unfamiliar words like 'thou' and 'thine' are used, which could be difficult to comprehend for the majority of people in this day and age. There is a lot of imagery used in this poem to create a picture in our minds of the poet's lover and the relationship that they share. The poet uses metaphors such as 'Times winged chariot' and 'Iron gates of life.' He also uses similes, for example, 'the youthful hue, sits on thy skin like morning dew.' In addition to this simile, this sentence shows us another technique, which is called personification. All of these techniques, plus some very elaborate descriptions build up some very apparent images.
However, 'Even Tho' is more of a story than an argument. This is because she doesn't feel that she needs to persuade men to do what she wants them to do, only tell them how she feels. Andrew Marvell felt that he needed to persuade his lover, as simply making a suggestion would not be enough. These are just a few examples of the ways that they are different, and of course, there are many more, but we must remember the simple similarities. Both poems are about sexual relationships, they are both written in the first person and to conclude, they both express emotions! My particular favourite out of the two poems has to be 'Even Tho.' The reason being, it is so simple, but yet has so many layers of meaning and tone. It is also comical as the imagery is fairly explicit as it talks about 'bananas' and 'avocados' representing the sexual organs on a human's body. The poem 'Even Tho' also has a far more informal style of writing than 'To his Coy Mistress' and communicates to more than just the poet's lover. All of this is why 'Even Tho' is my favourite poem out of the two. WRITTEN BY: DARREN STEINMANN
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