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Examine the arguments for love in the seventeenth century lyrical poems ‘The Sun Rising’ by John Donne and ‘To His Coy Mistress’ by Andrew Marvell.

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Introduction

Simon Horton 10E3 English Coursework 27th November Examine the arguments for love in the seventeenth century lyrical poems 'The Sun Rising' by John Donne and 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell. The main theme of 'The Sun Rising' and 'To His Coy Mistress' is love. Each poem follows different aspects of love. They are both strong aspects of love and both universal themes for they will forever be around as long as people still love each other. These themes are mainly there because of Donne's and Marvell's views and personal experiences. Born a Catholic in 1572 John Donne became a lawyer and was well known for sailing as a gentlemen adventurer with Essex and Raleigh. Donne became MP for Brackley in 1601. He secretly married a lady by the name of Ann Moore. Donne was briefly imprisoned because of this secret marriage. Donne wrote most of his love poetry before 1615 and wrote various writings including 'Songs and Sonnets'. In 1615 Donne took holy orders, was ordained as a deacon and became priest at St. Paul's Cathedral. He was then made royal chaplain to James I. I believe that Donne's experience of his secret marriage has helped him to understand love and he shows this in the poem. The main theme of 'The Sun Rising' is to show how much he loves his lover and how wonderful and important she is. The poem contains metaphysical ideas and this helps to emphasise how he feels about his lover. ...read more.

Middle

happy as Donne and his lover, even though the sun gets to see everything and is a powerful source of life because without the sun we would all die due to starvation from no crops being grown. I t also says that Donne's world has shrunken down and all that he needs is confined in his bedroom, i.e. his lover. Also in that quote, the alliteration of the 'h' sound makes you say the sentence slower and almost sounds like breathlessness shown in awe of their emotions. This gives it more meaning. The very last rhyming couplet of the poem reinforces that all Donne needs is his lover, it says: 'Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere; This bed thy centre is, these walls, thy sphere.' I think this is a great sentence to end on because-as said already- this creates an image of Donne, in bed with his lover, blocked off from the world and confined to his little bedroom where Donne is at his happiest because he is with his lover and he can not be disturbed by anyone, not even the sun. 'To His Coy Mistress' written by Andrew Marvell, also contains the theme of love, but focuses on a different aspect to 'The sun rising.' Born in 1621, Andrew Marvell was brought up in Hull on the River Humber and was born a Protestant. He briefly converted to a Catholic but then changed back. He had many skills and was a writer, a tutor and a traveller. ...read more.

Conclusion

These two poems are both about different aspects of love, 'The sun rising' focuses on how wonderful a lover can be, 'To his coy mistress is all about seizing the day, and consummating his love. 'To his coy mistress' is not really about being in the blissful state of love, unlike 'The Sun Rising.' It is more to do with the physical aspect of making love, and although you get the impression it is about love it never says it in the poem. I think that in 'To his coy mistress' it shows how man can get desperate for love and will resort to saying anything. It does not show the one quality that only human beings have, that no other life form on earth have, that is being able to have feelings to someone and use sex as an expression of peoples love. 'The sun rising' shows this and this is why I feel people can relate to this poem better. The arguments for love in 'The Sun Rising' are mainly about celebrating love and showing that you feel love for someone, and it gets more elaborate and expansive throughout the poem. For example it starts out with ordinary schoolboys and later talks about more exotic ideas like the West Indies, until finally it talks about the universe. 'To His Coy Mistress' examines the time essence of a relationship and how there is not enough time to do everything the way it should be done and is about making the most of your youth. It is a very time conscious poem and expresses how Marvell feels about enjoying life. ...read more.

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