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Compare the presentation of seduction in poems by Andrew Marvell and Eileen McAuley

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Introduction

Compare the presentation of seduction in poems by Andrew Marvell and Eileen McAuley In this essay, I intend to explore and compare the differences and similarities between two poems on the subject of seduction. This poems were written in different eras and one was written by a male (Andrew Marvell) and the other by a female (Eileen McAuley.) They portray seduction in different ways, but both tease the feelings of the reader and in response, they get different reader reactions. The older poem (18th century) displays seduction as no more than a luxury to be used to advantage of the port. "while the youthful hue sits on the skin like morning dew." While the modern poem displays seduction as a "drunk and nervous" necessity that is agreed to with much disillusion. Andrew Marvell, the writer of "To His Coy Mistress" has one main aim, to persuade his "mistress" and the reader to concur with his point of view. He does this by writing in the first person, so we get to know exactly what he wants. The disadvantage of this is that we only hear his side of the story and as a result, we may think he is quite a selfish writer and that he doesn't think or care about what the woman wants. ...read more.

Middle

"She had met him at the party, and he'd danced with her all night," but "as he gave her so she fell in love," so effectively she was too drunk to realise how far from reality and her expectation of love she was. This is how the girl with her sweet innocence "followed him there, all high white shoe" and was so easily seduced by the truant, and taken "to the ["murky"] river where [he] spend[s] the afternoons, when [he] should be at school." The use of enjambment is regular in Marvell's work; he uses it to continue ideas so that his argument flows. For example "and think which way To walk" and "I would Love you ten years before the flood." He also uses similes as a way of flattering the woman. For example "the youthful hue, sits on thy skin like morning dew." Enjambment also appears in "The Seduction." but it doesn't seem to be used for a particular purpose. It's more like a semi-colon than the continuation of an idea, for example, "like confetti strewn" The use of similes is also evident in this poem, but they are used to describe rather than flatter. "Green as a septic wound," describes the river where the event happens. ...read more.

Conclusion

day, Thou by the Indian Ganges side," but his motives are really based on his lust and impatience, "let us sport while we may." The reader concludes that the writer of this poem is not as respectful as he first seems. "The Seduction" is very much about gaining empathy from the reader, rather than persuading the reader to come round to a point of view. In this way the poem is very successful as it is thought provoking and emotive, but not in a "slushy" way like a stereotypical seduction poem, in a sad way. It makes the reader think about actions and preventable but maybe inevitable consequences. It also makes them think about vulnerability and how anything can happen to anyone. In conclusion, the poems do have some similarities. Both poems, for example portray girls as the seduced and boys/men as the not so friendly seducer. Their differences however, are far more obvious, with "The Seduction" portraying seduction as a drunken mistake ("she knocked it [vodka] back") with unwanted consequences. Whereas, "To His Coy Mistress" portrays seduction almost as an art, where you flatter the woman to get what you want. I think the attitudes of the poets are the most evident difference, and as the poets set out to achieve different things the poems are bound to have more differences than similarities. ...read more.

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