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Compare the attitudes of men and women to love and relationshipsin these two 17th Century poems. Both poems To His Coy Mistress and The Beggar Woman

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Introduction

Lauren Fernandez Compare the attitudes of men and women to love and relationships in these two 17th Century poems. Both poems To His Coy Mistress and The Beggar Woman were written during the 17th Century, a time in which there were clear status / class divides in society, very different to how things are today. Women had no status and didnt really have many rights or even much independance. Men were definitly the dominant sex practically ruling but thats just the way things were in the 17th Century. Laws would revolve around men in order allow them to have the benefits in life, men were clearly of a much higher status. The two poets Andrew Marvell and William King both focus on the attitudes of men and women towards love, sex and relationships in general. William King particularly focuses on highlighting the social class issues of the 17th Century. During the 17th century attitudes towards sex and relationships were a little stricter than the veiws on sex and relationships today. Back in the 17th Century it was morally wrong to have sex before marriage (this particularly applied to Christian people), the same as having children before marriage. ...read more.

Middle

Again this gave the effect that everything is well planned out. This could also imply that the main character the beggar woman, planned the passing of her baby to the gentlemen that day in the woods. To His Coy Mistress has been written in a three part structure consisting of three stanzas.. The first stanza the man trying his best to get his mistress to lose her virginity to him by sweet talking her and hyperbole for example "Two hundred to adore each breast". He then goes on to scare her as his plan does not wash with his mistress, this is the second part to te poem. In the third part of the poem he is trying to dominate her and make conclusions about the situation, this structure of constant thought about argument helps to the effectivness of the poem in the sense that it is intense and powerfull throughout. However, The Beggar Woman is not written in three stanzas or parts instead it is just written in a normal way down the page, as you normally would expect to see. The content of the poems show plenty of examples of what peoples attitudes were towards sex and relationships in the 17th Century. ...read more.

Conclusion

However The Beggar Woman does not use imagery in his poem as it is a ballad - not an argument. Instead, it is William King's choice of language that gets the reader imagining and picturing what the poem implies and describes. Like when he says "He ambles on before, she trots behind" the verb works to give us the image in our heads of the difference in status between the gentlemen and the beggar woman. The verb ambles shows that the gentlemen leads the way meaning he is of a high status aswell as the fact that he seems very keen to have sex with the woman, also it gives us the image in our heads of a snobby man strolling into teh woods with his head up high really looking smug about the ladies service awaiting. However the word "trots" give us a very opposite image in our heads. These verbs and language choices make the story have morals by the end. This happens because it uses the language to describe the people in a stereotypical way describing a beggar as trotting and a gentleman as ambling and having the beggar woman coming out on top. The choice of language gives the morals of the story a much stronger impact. ...read more.

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