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Poems Coursework (The Flea & To His Coy Mistress)

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GCSE English Coursework Discuss the representation of seduction inn 'The Flea' and 'To his Coy Mistress' Seduction is defined as 'succeeding in tempting (someone) away from right or moral behaviour, to persuade (someone) to have sexual intercourse; to attract'. Both of the poems I am writing about use seduction and persuasion. Both John Donne and Andrew Marvell went to Cambridge and Oxford universities and were taught the English language. This means that because they were taught English, they get taught the art of persuasion. They have used this persuasion in the worst way; they are using it to persuade the women into having sex with them. 'The Flea', the image of a flea was very frequent in 17th century poetry, and a flea is thought of as being insignificant and dirty, this is what John Donne compares sex to; as being unimportant. This is his way of convincing her to sleep with him. The title 'To his Coy Mistress' shows ownership in the word 'his', gender politics were very well known back in the 17th century; it was a very patriarchal period in history. The word 'Coy' means overly modest; she doesn't like to boast and keeps herself quiet. 'The Flea' by John Donne is about him trying to persuade a girl to have sexual intercourse with him, and showing her that it is not a sin. ...read more.


The line lengths are more or less the same throughout the poem, and they are all medium length. There is no sprawling across the page, the writing is very content. There are many poetic devices in both of the poems, these help towards illustrating the themes of poems. The authors use poetic devices such as similes, metaphors and personification. Andrew Marvell's poem uses alliteration as soon as you start reading it, 'To talk, and pass our long love's day'. This use of alliteration is very soothing and relaxes the girl, by relaxing her when he first talks to her may make her vulnerable so that he can get the sex that he wants. John Donne also does this but he uses sibilance. This has the same effect on the girl as Marvell's did. 'A sin, or shame, or loss of maidenhead', makes her more vulnerable because he is making her feel more relaxed. John Donne also uses repetition in the second verse of his poem, 'our marriage bed, and marriage temple is,' he is repeating the word marriage. He does this to show her how marriage is a good thing, and when people are married they have sex. The poetic device that Andrew Marvell uses next is personification. 'Time's winged chariot hurrying near', he's saying that time will come and go fast, like a chariot. ...read more.


I think that the tones of the poems are happy, because if they want the girl to have sex with them, then they can't have an unhappy or stressful mood because that will not relax her or convince her very well. 'To his Coy Mistress' is more thoughtful than 'The Flea', because he loves her and wants to have sex with her for the right reasons. But in 'The Flea', he just wants her to have sex for his pleasure. I think that 'To his Coy Mistress' was more effective because you could see that he really loved the girl he was writing to. His reason for wanting sex was to prove his love to her, to show he would be faithful to her and how it would make them closer. He also used genuine seduction, he wasn't comparing their love to a dirty insignificant flea, he associates the woman with jewels, rubies and somewhere exotic. Even though 'The Flea' was a very good poem, I think John Donne was playing mind games to persuade her into having sex with him. This is not a faithful or genuine way to ask a woman to have sex with them. And then he compares it to a flea, dirty and unimportant, I think that he would be making the woman feel cheap and easy if he did convince her into having sex with him. ?? ?? ?? ?? Kayleigh Snooks 5th November 2007 1 ...read more.

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