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Compare and Contrast Two Pre 1914 Poems About Women and Sex

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast Two Pre 1914 Poems About Women and Sex In this essay I will be writing about two poems, which are based on the themes of women and sex before marriage. The first poem is to his coy mistress, which was written by Andrew Marvell in the 1600's and describes why Marvell's girlfriend should sleep with him before they are married. The second is the beggar woman written at a similar time by William King and this poem deals with the possible consequences for women of sex before marriage. During the seventeenth century sex before marriage was socially unacceptable and any woman who became pregnant as a result risked being ostracised from her family. Andrew Marvell was a seventeenth century poet, who also became a member of Parliament for Hull. He was a metaphysical poet. In the poem 'To His Coy Mistress', Marvell tries to persuade his girlfriend to sleep with him now because if they wait then there will be a possibility that they could die. 'To His Coy Mistress' is written in rhyming couplets a romantic style of poetry, which ties in with the theme of love in the poem. ...read more.

Middle

The second poem is 'The Beggar Woman'. William king wrote it in the same period as 'To His Coy Mistress'. 'The Beggar Woman', is about a gentleman who wishes to sleep with a beggar woman. However the woman manages to outwit the man and warns him that he should think of the consequences for the women before he seeks casual sex in future. The poem is written in a narrative style, and so resembles a story. It uses rhyming couplets and iambic pentameter, a very traditional style of poetry. The tone of the poem is quick, light-hearted and comic. The man in this poem is shown to be foolish and arrogant in his attitude towards women. This is shown when the poet says, 'he himself had other game in view'. This shows that the man thinks of sex as being nothing but a game, and that he considers women to be animals of no consequence, whom it doesn't matter hurting, like the game which he would hunt. When he first speaks to the beggar woman, he doesn't bother trying to flatter her but gets straight to the point, ' What if we two should/ retire a little way into the wood'. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 'To His Coy Mistress' the only point of view heard is that of Marvell himself. His girlfriend's voice Is never heard, and the only thing known about her is that she doesn't want to sleep with Marvell; her reasons for this are unknown. 'The Beggar Woman' however is written from third person point of view. In this way, both the man and the woman are presented, although the poet mainly sympathises as thoughtless and lascivious. While Marvell wants sex, he is also in love with the woman he wants to sleep with, so it is seen as less immoral. Marvell is presenting the message that sex is nothing mare than a game, and so there is nothing wrong with sex before marriage. He does not mention that possible consequences, however King's message is that men should think of the potential costs for women before mindlessly seeking sex. In conclusion, the main similarities between these two poems are the themes of women and sex, which they discuss. The main differences are the poet's attitudes towards sex and women. While Marvell believes that is nothing wrong with sex before marriage, King is vigorously opposed to it. The poet's also present their message in different ways: as a one-sided argument and as a comical narrative with a moral. Holly Christopher 11B ...read more.

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