• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The 17th century poets, Andrew Marvell and Robert Herrick, in their poems "To His Coy Mistress" and "To The Virgins, To Make Much of Time" offer extraordinary insight into the feelings and emotions connected with love.

Extracts from this document...


In Its Now or Never The 17th century poets, Andrew Marvell and Robert Herrick, in their poems "To His Coy Mistress" and "To The Virgins, To Make Much of Time" offer extraordinary insight into the feelings and emotions connected with love. With twenty-eight definitions for the word "love" in the dictionary and therefore with no surprise we find this broadly defined word contributing to a diverse array of poems, which can all claim to be centered around "love." Two such poems are, "To His Coy Mistress" and "To The Virgins, To Make Much of Time" both of which are obviously dealing with the subject of love, despite being written thirty-three years apart they still share a commonality. Andrew Marvell and Robert Herrick both use vivid figurative language and ardent rhyme devices in similar ways in their respective poems to communicate a common theme: that beyond the obvious amorous and passionate nature of love, love is ultimately ephemeral and therefore we must seize it and fully experience it, before love, true to its transient character, passes us by. Both Andrew Marvell and Robert Herrick use dramatic and vibrant figurative language not only to create visual effects that complement and enliven their shared theme but they ...read more.


For the poet, there are two kinds of attitudes toward the present: activities in the present are judged by their impact on the future, and there is thus no future state - all activities occur in the present and can only be enjoyed or evaluated by their impact at that moment. Correspondingly, Robert Herrick in his poem "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time," uses imagery to brilliantly illustrate his shared theme: he feels it is necessary to immerse oneself in love before love passes one by. In each of the four stanzas, Herrick uses a new image to give the impression of the time fleeting by and he highlights the need for us to 'seize the love' literally meaning 'to strike iron when its hot'. Herrick establishes that "Old time is still a-flying" (2) and this is the overtone for the entire poem. In the first stanza, he compares the "flower that smiles today" (3) to the ones that "will be dying" (4) "tomorrow" (4) and this comparison creates a mold for all the imagery he uses that follows. The "flower" (3) like love is initially good and beautiful but its life yet is ephemeral and short-lived. ...read more.


Marvell also highlights certain lines by employing slant rhyme, which is the case in lines six through ten. Here he attempts to rhyme "would" (6) with "flood" (7) and "refuse" (8) with "Jews" (9) and by doing so brings more focus onto this allusion. The use of rhyme is therefore clearly used by both Alexander Marvell and Robert Herrick to embellish their respective poems. The Latin phrase "carpe diem" means, "to seize the day," and this has been utilized very effectively as a rally to ask us to immerse ourselves in life before life passes us by. "To Virgins, to Make Much of Time," by Robert Herrick and "To His Coy Mistress," by Andrew Marvell are both poetic restatements of "carpe diem." Both these poets emphasize the ephemeral character of love, which ultimately overshadows its amorous and passionate nature. They accentuate through their shared theme the necessity for seizing the opportunity and experiencing the joys of love while it was possible. This theme, which was shared between two poets who were not contemporaries of each other, shows the importance of it especially in a time period where the average life span was so short. But Marvell and Herrick's theme however has proved timeless, and thus continues to be applicable even today in the 21st century. 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Andrew Marvell section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Andrew Marvell essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    With close reference to the two poems which you have studied, show how the ...

    4 star(s)

    In this way they are gaining the upper hand over time. This two lines shows how, when the sun is personified, it appears to be feasible to consider outrunning it, and also how, although the sun is the brightest object in our universe, together they can be brighter.

  2. The Metaphysical Poets: John Donne and Andrew Marvell.

    the explorers and astronomers who voyage across the seas or scan the heavens in search of remote 'new world's' they can conquer or study, but never in any full sense 'possesse'. The explorers and astronomers, we may say, remain trapped in the realm of Action, while the lovers have, as

  1. Metaphysical Love Poems

    Donne then begins the next stanza with a joke, 'Thy beams so reverend and strong why should'st thou think?' The sun does not believe it is more important than anything else, which is what he is suggesting. 'I could eclipse them and cloud them with a wink,' Donne shows how

  2. A Comparison Between A Coy Mistress and To The Virgins

    In Herrick's poem, he uses a metaphor of a flower which may be at full bloom and beautiful today but then tomorrow it will be wilting and dying by which he means that the young virgins may be beautiful and youthful right now but sooner than they know, they will be growing old and dying.

  1. A Critical Analysis and Comparison 'Between Come, My Celia' and 'To His Coy Mistress'

    be alright if they didn't make love if they had all the time in the world, but they don't! He compares his love to a vegetable "my vegetable love should grow,"(Line 11), the only difference being that vegetables can't have sex.

  2. Compare (find the similarities) and contrast (find the differences) between the poetic techniques of ...

    'marble vault' as her final resting place to be desolate and lonesome assuring her that, 'Thy beauty shall be no more found' as there is nothing after death. He also uses very graphical, nauseating imagery of worms consuming her body and links it to the fact that she is still

  1. The two poems which I am comparing are by Andrew Marvell and John Donne ...

    Now Marvell goes back into the track of flattering his mistress through this hyperbolic imagery: 'My vegetable love should grow vaster than empires, and more slow'. Vegetables only get larger and riper as they grow, corresponding to his love, which will very slowly like vegetables into vast empires.

  2. Examine the ways in which the poets in “The Flea” and “To His Coy ...

    In religion there is holiness, and perhaps Donne is trying to sell his proposal of sex with this in mind. The next line of the poem is particularly interesting "Though parents grudge, and you we're met". It would appear that everyone except him apposes this union.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work