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Examine the Themes of Relationship in To His Coy Mistress and Valentine

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Introduction

Examine the Themes of Relationship in To His Coy Mistress and Valentine In my essay, I will be examining the theme of relationships in To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell and Valentine by Carol Anne Duffy. I will write about the poems themes', ideas, structure and linguistic devices. I will compare and contrast each poem, then give my opinion on my favourite and why. Andrew Marvell wrote his poem, To His Coy Mistress in the 16th century. The poem has three stanzas and is written in rhyming couplets. It is about a man who is in a rush to have sexual intercourse with his mistress. He is lured by her beauty and wants to enjoy her beauty before the time is over. He presents a familiar theme in literature - carpe diem (meaning seize the day), he uses this as he tries to seduce a woman and declare his love for her, while she his shy and hesitant, he tries to persuade her to think that they must take advantage of the moment. There are two themes in the poem, carpe diem and seduction. 'Time's winged chariot hurrying near;' Here, he tells his mistress that time is flying so they should have sex now and seize the day, he is rushing her and trying to charm her by telling her to make the most of the time they have. ...read more.

Middle

The first simile represents the crystal-clear skin of the mistress and refers back to her beauty. The second stanza means the strength and speed and the passion made by the pair of lovers when they make love. 'Nor would I love at a lower rate' and 'Time's winged chariot hurrying near;' are two examples of metaphor which are used in the poem. 'Love her at a lower rate' he is saying he would love her for as long as he could, but time equals money so they should just have sexual intercourse now before they waste even more time. He is summing up what he wants and getting straight to the point here. The second poem which I will be examining and analysing is Valentine by Carol Anne Duffy. Duffy has written this poem in seven stanzas, three of which consist of a single line. It represents a real relationship as she wants us to speak more honestly about love in relationships. In this poem Duffy states her dislike for the normal stuff you get on Valentine's Day. On a deeper level she wants to modernise the symbols we use for love. There are several themes in the poem, all of which are different to Marvell's. They are all to do with a realistic relationship such as: honesty, romance, negative experience, tenderness and bitterness. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the last stanza, Duffy demands her lover take the gift, 'Take it.' She tells him that they might marry. She suggests that the bright white core of the onion is like a wedding ring, 'Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding ring'. The final image about scent clinging has another meaning, scents linger after lovemaking. These scents will remain in memory after the relationship ends. The smell of an onion stays on your fingers for good while, again, the onion proves to be a good way of getting the poet's message across. After examining each poem I have chosen Valentine as my favourite poem. In Marvell's poem, I could feel the passion of the young man, and how much he admired the coy Mistress, but I came to the conclusion that the poem was a little smutty. Therefore, I chose Valentine as I liked how she used the onion as a love symbol in a realistic relationship. The idea of the scent 'cling to your knife' was very real, just like a relationship, sharp and cutting. In conclusion, I have examined the theme of relationships between the two poems To His Coy Mistress and Valentine. I have explored the linguistic devices and ideas of the poems, also giving my opinion on my favourite and why. ...read more.

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