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To His Coy Mistress Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time Robert Herrick (1591-1974) Analyse and compare persuasive content of the two poems

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Introduction

GENRE: POETRY PERSUASIVE CONTENT To His Coy Mistress ANDREW MARVELL (1621-1678) To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time ROBERT HERRICK (1591-1974) Analyse and compare persuasive content of the two poems These two poems are basic examples of a poet attempting to use his skill with words to persuade someone to perform an action; in "To His Coy Mistress", Marvell is attempting to persuade a lady to have sex with him, and in "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time", Herrick is trying to inspire an imaginary (I hope) group of harem girls into mental motivation, so their 'physical' motivation will be at it's peak once the customer has paid his fee. This essay will analyse how the poets' use of language and content manage to make the reader believe that, if they were this person being plied, then they would be convinced of his frankness and honesty. The poems will be compared, and a conclusion shall be drawn at the end which will state my opinion concerning which poem is better at communicating the author's intent to persuade. The titles of the poems require an analysis at first; the word 'coy' is a word which suggests emotive, quietly reserved, quaint and effectively coquette. This actually adds a touch of humour to the poem, because it forms an image in the reader's imagination of this desperate man chatting up this Lady (requires a capital L) ...read more.

Middle

they should have sex as much as possible while still alive, but one can just picture him thinking; 'And if I turn a profit at the same time, who'll care?' Which makes him look like some sort of chauvinist. The structure of his poem also makes him appear a little bit too keen, the verses maybe in iambic tetrameter (as is 'To His Coy Mistress', but they are short and almost appear to be limericks upon first glance. The poem is also the shorter of the two, and this adds to the implication that what this man wanted his speech to be was not a rousing torrent of inspiration, but just a few choice words thrown together to make these poor women think he cared. 'To His Coy Mistress' is much more lengthy, personal and flattering all at once, and the poem does Andrew Marvell credit. Note that it is all in one long verse, much like a love - letter, and makes the reader think that this man trying to entice his lover has really taken time to think of something meaningful to say to this lady. He uses sexual imagery to try to entice her; Now, therefore, while the youthful hue Sits on thy skin like morning dew He uses the image of skin as sexy. ...read more.

Conclusion

If this is meant to inspire them to have sex, I think that the ladies would probably have a long think and do something worthwhile instead. Perhaps THAT was Herrick's intention; to inspire them to greater things? In such an aspect, he succeeded with flying colours! So, to conclude, I believe that 'To His Coy Mistress' was far more persuasive then 'To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time' because it uses all well-known tricks for persuasion; being personal, being realistic but not hurtful concerning the state one would like to change, even using mild humour (The grave's a fine and private place/But none, I think, do there embrace). Herrick's poem fails miserably to bring on the desire to 'fornicate', using haste too readily and basically telling the ladies that they are getting closer to death all the time, so they should spend their time having sex. Even as I write this, I realize that such an argument does not even make sense, but perhaps Herrick's intention was to encourage the harem girls to greater dreams then where the next 'quicky' is coming from. 'To His Coy Mistress' is a masterpiece of persuasion, and is something anyone needing to convince someone of Marvell's choice of topic should aspire to! Jamie Mactulloch - Gair, 5LB ...read more.

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