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A comparison and contrast of 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell and 'Ending' by Gavin Ewart

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A comparison and contrast of 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell and 'Ending' by Gavin Ewart 'To His Coy Mistress' was written by a poet called Andrew Marvell who was born on the 31st March 1621. He was a Cambridge-educated priest, poet and a Member of Parliament. The poem was written in the year 1652. The theme of the poem is love and its passionate beginnings. The genre of the poem is 'carpe diem' which is Latin for 'seize the day' or 'get the most out of life'. Carpe diem was used effectively by Horace; therefore this poem is quasi-Horatian. The theme is basically love and physical seduction which occurs at the beginning of a relationship. The poem shows how men seduced women typically in the seventeenth century. The title of the poem suggests that the woman is generally shy, a little withdrawn and maybe secretly wanting to get involved with the man. The form of the poem is lyric. There are three sections to the poem, marked by indents at the verses. The poem's context is time-period. The form is quite suitable to the theme because it shows in three sections how the man seduces the woman. In the first section, he is flattering and complimenting her. The second section is dark, pressuring and the mood gets much more sombre at the mention of death behind them. The third section is more upbeat and rushed because he's saying to her 'now I've explained everything to you.' Marvell has presented the theme by unfolding it gradually during the poem. In the first few sentences it's clear that the theme is love because he is talking about if they had enough time what they would do. He flatters her by saying 'two hundred years to adore each breast' and 'lady you deserve this state'. He applies his rhetorical language skills on her. In the second section, the theme of love is overpowered by the threatening of time, death and darkness. ...read more.


Iron gates have the strength to keep and confine people, so the male speaker is saying that they should make love and push the gates wide open. In conclusion, this is a passionate poem showing how men seduced women by using the idea of death and time. I particularly like the way Marvell personifies time as a chariot approaching from behind and in my opinion this is a well-written and detailed poem. 'Ending' is a poem written by Gavin Ewart. He is poet who was born in London in the year 1916 and died in 1995. Ewart came from a Scottish background and he wrote the poem in the 1970's. Ewart was Cambridge-educated and he became a poet before the Second World War. The poem is different to other love poems because the theme of it is the ending of a relationship, not the beginning. The title is only the word 'Ending', without the word 'The' in front. By doing this, Ewart gives the poem a sense of finality. The poem has fourteen lines; however, it is not a sonnet. There are eight or nine syllables per line. The poem is written in seven rhyming couplets. There is no particular setting for the poem, but there is only a male speaker talking through the past of relationship. Ewart has chosen to construct the poem in rhyming couplets, for instance, 'the kisses that were as hot as curry are bird-pecks taken in a hurry.' The poem is made to unfold gradually before the reader. Ewart does this by developing the same idea for each couplet. The first line in each couplet talks about how the relationship was when it first started. The second line in each couplet compares the first to how the situation is now (the relationship about to end). For example, 'the feet that ran to meet a date' is the first of the couplet, and the second is 'are running slow and running late.' ...read more.


The speaker in 'To His Coy Mistress' is interested in the woman and is trying to seduce her whereas the speaker in Ending is disinterested in the woman as he reflects upon the relationship which has ended. 'To His Coy Mistress' is old-fashioned because it was written in the seventeenth century. 'Ending' is quite a modern poem because it was written towards the end of the twentieth century. The language used in 'To His Coy Mistress' is esoteric and complex language whereas in 'Ending', the language is simple and contemporary. 'To His Coy Mistress' is persuasive but 'Ending' is reflective. 'To His Coy Mistress' is also formal and rhetorical whereas 'Ending' is informal. The structures of the two poems differ because Ending has only one section which is fourteen lines long. 'To His Coy Mistress' on the other hand has forty-six lines which are separated into three sections. There is a woman mentioned in both poems but the difference is that she is present in To His Coy Mistress but absent in Ending. In 'To His Coy Mistress' the tones vary with each section, for example, in the first section it is low-pitched but it suddenly changes to an even lower pitch in the second section. The tone in Ending is constant throughout. The mood of the male speaker varies in 'To His Coy Mistress' as he talks about death and time whereas the mood of the male speaker in 'Ending' remains the same. Another difference between the two poems is the rhythm and metre. In 'To His Coy Mistress' the rhythm is irregular, however, in 'Ending' it is regular. In conclusion, I like both poems, but I prefer 'To His Coy Mistress' because it is a very descriptive and persuasive poem. I am fascinated by the way Marvell uses the idea of death to persuade a woman into a relationship. The way that he personifies time is effective as well. I prefer 'To His Coy Mistress' mainly because of the complex language used by the poet. By, Reem Al-Hassani 11CW 1 ...read more.

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