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Compare and contrast To His Coy Mistress and John Donnes The Flea and consider which is more persuasive of the two?

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Introduction

Compare and contrast To His Coy Mistress and John Donne's The Flea and consider which is more persuasive of the two? To His Coy Mistress, written by Andrew Marvell in 1681 and The Flea, written by John Donne in 1633 are examples of metaphysical poetry. Both of the poems try to convince their partner to have sex with the poet. The poems are also examples of dramatic lyric poetry because the poet addresses another person and is directly talking to them, but the person is not actually saying anything in response. The poet of The Flea uses a flea as a metaphor to encourage his partner to have sex with him by using things that the flea does and translating them into the situation they're in. Andrew Marvell, in To His Coy Mistress uses words such as "rubies" as metaphors to try and convince his partner that if they don't have sex now soon she will be dead or too ugly for them to have sex. The poets use lots of different language techniques to help them to convince their partners to have sex with them. Some techniques are used in both poems; an example of this is the use of metaphors. ...read more.

Middle

This tells us that she has killed the flea and ignored the poet. By using "thy" and "thou" we see the reader emphasise these words to show us how the woman is feeling. In To His Coy Mistress we see the poet use pronouns so as to directly engage the partner as he directs his words at her. We're shown this when he says, "I would love you ten years before the Flood; and you should, if you please, refuse." The use of the word "you" shows that the poet is directly aiming this sentence to his partner which involves her in the poem and conversation. Also the use of "you" emphasises the fact that he is trying to please and persuade only her and no one else. The two poems have a regular rhyme scheme that follows two patterns that are similar. The Flea has a rhyming scheme of AA BB CC DDD which is the same in each stanza. The pairing of AA is obvious in the first two lines, "MARK but this flea, and mark in this, how little that which thou deniest me is;" The use of rhyming couplets and having a regular rhyme scheme helps make the poets message stick in your head and makes it more memorable. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Flea, with its aggressive and forceful tone may cause the reader to think that the poet was trying to force his partner to have sex with him and go against what she wanted, but when you look at To His Coy Mistress, which has a soft loving tone, you would see it as he is trying to be romantic and flatter her which can be seen as acceptable in a modern society. Furthermore, as the idea of sex before marriage is found to be unacceptable in the poems an audience today may find this does not apply to them as it is socially accepted that you can have sex before marriage and there are no rules against this. Overall, I think To His Coy Mistress is a more persuasive poem as its tries to persuade the woman in a more loving manner. Also because Andrew Marvell creates a different atmosphere in the lead up to sex and makes everything seem more romantic and more about the two of them rather than just the man. However The Flea shows how it's all about the man wanting to have sex and shows aggression and an almost forcefulness from the man which I think is not at all persuasive to the woman and does not make her want to have sex with him. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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