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Compare and contrast the poets' attitudes towards women and sex in the poems 'To His Coy Mistress' and 'Beggar Women.'

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Introduction

Coursework assignment 4 Pre 1914 Poetry Compare and contrast the poets' attitudes towards women and sex in the poems 'To His Coy Mistress' and 'Beggar Women.' The two poems I am studying are 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell and 'The Beggar Woman' by William King. 'To His Coy Mistress' looks at the attitudes one man holds towards his girlfriends' unwillingness to have sex with him. The poems main aim is to persuade. 'The Beggar Woman' conveys one mans ideas on prostitution and sex. He seems to think sex has no consequences. Although both poems discuss sex, both give very different views, on and surrounding the topic. The poems are strongly influenced by religious views that were held at that time. 'To His Coy Mistress' conveys the love one man has for his girlfriend and how he wants to make their love complete by having sex. Marvell uses two main tactics in his poem to convince her. At first Marvell writes using romance to try and persuade his girlfriend to have sex with him. He uses sentences like 'I would love you ten years before the flood' this suggests that he would love her even before the world began it also introduces religion into the poem which is probably one of the reasons his girlfriend won't have sex with him. ...read more.

Middle

Marvell writes 'rather at once our time devour' this means we should get the most out of the time we've got. To eventually finish Marvell says 'thus, though we cannot make our sun stand still, yet we can still make him run. This means, we can't really stop the sun, but while it's still moving around the world we may as well enjoy it. I think this ending is really effective because it sums up Marvell's point really effectively, and would remain in the girlfriends mind even after reading the poem. It is important to sum up what he is trying to say at the end in case some of his points heave been forgotten. Ending with a sentence like this introduces the aim of the poem back into the girls mind. The second poem I have been studying is called Beggar Woman. This tells the story of one supposed gentleman and his talk with a prostitute. The first sentence William king writes is 'a gentleman in hunting rode astray.' At first you are made to think that while he and some other people were out hunting he has got purposely lost, but if you analyse this sentence closer, it could also mean, that by doing what he is about to do he has morally gone astray. ...read more.

Conclusion

the end the power has switched, the woman is in control, and for a change the man has to live with the consequences of sex. Although both poems discuss sex both are also very different. 'To His Coy Mistress' has a very rigid pattern with four feet tetrameter lines, while 'Beggar 'Woman' is less rigid, and there isn't much structure in the poem. 'To His Coy Mistress' is in first person narrator so we assume Marvell is writing about his own experiences, but 'Beggar Woman' is written in third person and it tells us a story. Also the themes in each poem are different e.g. 'The Beggar Woman' is about, different views on prostitution, power in society between sexes and the consequences of sex, while 'To His Coy Mistress' main theme is 'carpe diem' which means 'seize the day.' There are three main similarities, men want sex, both men are refused sex and in both poems the women are in control and hold all the power. 'To His Coy Mistress' main aim is to persuade the woman. 'The Beggar Woman's main aim is to tell us a story, although the poems are about a similar topic the ways in which the topics are presented are very different. I prefer to his coy mistress as the structure and the rhyming couplets are a lot more effective. Katie Fleetwood 10m ...read more.

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