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Compare 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell with 'Sonnet 138' by William Shakespeare. Do they present love in similar ways? How sincere do they seem to you?

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Introduction

Compare 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell with 'Sonnet 138' by William Shakespeare. Do they present love in similar ways? How sincere do they seem to you? I am comparing 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell (1640) and 'Sonnet 138' by William Shakespeare (1590). The similarities between both poems are that they both use a certain amount of syllables throughout each poem. 'To His Coy Mistress' uses 8 syllables per line, and 'Sonnet 138' uses 10 syllables per line. Another obvious similarity is that they both end with a couplet. They both also tell a story. The differences in the poems are that 'To His Coy Mistress' is arguing why they should get on with life, and Carpe diem whereas 'Sonnet 138' is telling us about how he doesn't trust her, yet he loves her. They use different styles, because Shakespeare uses alternate rhyming lines whereas 'To His Coy Mistress' uses couplets most of the time. They also present different ideas. The first ('To his Coy Mistress') gives the impression that women are shy and need encouragement whereas 'Sonnet 138' shows that they lie and trick men. 'To His Coy Mistress' is the title of the first poem. It implies that she is a shy mistress and it does not mean, as it does today, that she was a secret lover and doing it deceitfully behind a man's wife's back. It just meant his girlfriend. 'To His Coy Mistress' meant to his shy girlfriend. The poem is a three-stage argument. It starts with the 'if' stage. If we had enough time I would spend all the ages of this world loving you, I would spend all my time flattering you and praising you'. The next stage is the 'but' stage. It is telling her that we don't have all the time in the world and we are soon going to die. ...read more.

Middle

This line seems to sum up the whole poem because it says the sun will not stop so we can have all the time we want, therefore, we must make him run to keep up with us by packing our life full of pleasures. Overall the poem is trying to persuade a girl to go to bed with a man. I think that it is poem about love and time. It is about wanting all the time in the world so that he does not rush anything, making time stand still so that you can spend all the ages of the world together loving each other slowly, but I also think its about true love. He wants to make love to her and she is playing hard to get. He is getting impatient so he tries to frighten her in the poem by using lines such as: '... Then worms shall try That long preserved virginity'. This implies that he is fed up with not being the one to give her pleasure, so he is pushing her by giving her a choice between him and the creatures that will also try once she is dead. I think that the poem seems sincere although it also sounds impatient. Almost as if he is fed up with her refusing him so he tries every way he can think of in the poem to get her to love him back. He flatters her, he tries scares her. He gives her advice, carpe diem, and he says that they should want to make the sun run. He also talks as if he has persuaded her. I think that the poem is almost begging her throughout, but using double entendre's, as he doesn't want to sound desperate. The second poem I have chosen to write about is 'Sonnet 138'. It has certain similarities but also certain differences to 'To His Coy Mistress'. The biggest difference is that it has fewer lines, only 14 lines that make it a sonnet. ...read more.

Conclusion

It uses clever language and it doesn't have a constant rhyming pattern as some lines don't rhyme, whereas others do, however the poem still fits together and sounds right. I like the way that it 'slots' together because the lines are bouncy, teasing and they roll off your tongue easily so that reading it out loud is easier than if you have to think about each line before you say it. If you do have to think about every line I don't think that you enjoy it as much. However, I think that 'Sonnet 138' is more sincere. This is because it is questioning and proving his judgement rather than begging a girl into bed with him. Neither poem is very wise however because there is the chance that Marvell didn't get what he wanted because the lady was offended and Shakespeare's poem is encouraging lies. They both contain dishonesty and 'Sonnet 138' contains more lies than 'To His Coy Mistress'. I find both poems interesting to read, especially 'To His Coy Mistress' because of the differences within the poem and because of the way it is written like an argument. I do not find 'Sonnet 138' beautiful but I do find it unusual because it has a strange idea that it is all right to lie in a relationship if it makes someone happy, because of this I find the poem offensive, as I do not believe it is right to lie. If I received 'To His Coy Mistress' I would be both offended and flattered, but I would have liked to have written it because it is so clever. I don't think either poem help us to truly understand love because one says you lie in a relationship and the other tells us that women are shy. They contradict each other, but this does not mean that one poem is right and one is wrong, it just shows us two different views of love. Debbie James 103W ...read more.

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