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Discussion on 'To his coy mistress'.

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Introduction

POETRY ESSAY To his coy mistress is about sexual feelings and infatuation, based on the Italian tradition of courtly love - it is filled with compliments and references to sexual activity and deviancy but is generally a one sided love, the whole poem is about the man wooing the woman and persuading her that she should have sex with him. Throughout the first stanza the poet writes how he would love the woman, had they had all the time in the world. The love is much exaggerated. "I would love you ten years before the flood" This is clearly an exaggerated statement because the flood happened before Christ, before the poet or the woman even existed. This portrays that he would love her forever. "My vegetable love would grow vaster...and more slow" The poet is talking about time, about his love growing slowly but surely over time. The reference to a vegetable the natural fruit of the earth symbolises how the love for the woman will grow over years, from a seed getting bigger over time- its natural and deep rooted love. ...read more.

Middle

One could also say that he is in some way stating the fate of the "vegetable" love he was referring to, because if the vegetable is left for too long and not eaten (like her virginity not being taken) it will lye in the ground, rotting and being eaten by "worms"- just as she will when she dies. He is also saying that while she is young and beautiful she should have sex before she turns old and loses her attraction. "While the youthful hew sits on thy skin like morning dew... let us sport while we may" Again using natural symbolism "morning dew" - the morning breath of the earth, its fresh and new just like her youth. First love is similar to "his coy mistress" because it too is a one sided love, experienced by the male and not returned in any way by the woman they love. First love, as the title suggests is all about t emotion of the man who had fallen in love for the first time. ...read more.

Conclusion

As well as "to his coy mistress" "first love also includes the theme of time "Seemed night at noon day" Though in the poem the reader is not given a sense of 'hurrying' and anticipation but a sense of confusion portraying the emotional distress the poet is going through. As the poem progresses into the third and last stanza the poet writes of his rejection and his pain cause by the subject he had so hopelessly fallen in love with. "Is love's bed always snow?" this is a rhetorical question, comparing the of love which is thought to be warm and loving with passionate heat and comfort (positive) to snow; cold harsh snow, with no colour, which is bleak and which brings death to all living things (negative) - again the poet is using contrasting aspects in one sentence to show confusion too. The poet has been made to feel that love is a horrible, harsh and bitter feeling. ...read more.

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