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Would you categorise 'To His Coy Mistress' (Andrew Marvell) as a metaphysical or a classical poem?

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Introduction

Would You Categorise 'To His Coy Mistress' (Andrew Marvell) as a Metaphysical or a Classical Poem? The main characteristics of a metaphysical poem take account of: dialectic content, drama, dramatic openings and a personal voice; these contrast with a regular rhythm at the start, rhyming couplets, carpe diem, description of women and half rhyme of a traditionally classical poem. 'To His Coy Mistress' contains a combination of these traits. Metaphysical poems tend to be related to experience, especially in the areas of love, romance and man's relationship with God - the eternal perspective. Marvell uses dialectic which is the use of an argument to construct a case and persuade A classical characteristic notable in 'To His Coy Mistress' is the rhyming pattern. The poem begins with a regular pattern, rhyming 'time' with 'crime'. ...read more.

Middle

is made clear in the third section of the poem. Reflections on love or God should not be too hard for you. Writing about a poet's technique is more challenging but will please any examiner. Giving some time to each (where the task invites this), while ending on technique would be ideal. In Marvell we find the pretence of passion (in To His Coy Mistress) used as a peg on which to hang serious reflections on the brevity of happiness Eternity and man's life in the context of this, is the explicit subject of all of Vaughan's poems in the selection, but is considered by Herbert in The Flower and, in a wholly secular manner, by Marvell in To His Coy Mistress To His Coy Mistress - the light and the serious arguments in one; the structure "Had we ..." ...read more.

Conclusion

As in other respects, Marvell exhibits more variety here. We find the second person in To His Coy Mistress. When Donne does this, we can believe, even though his own thoughts are what we learn, that an intimate address to a real woman is intended (in, say, The Good-Morrow, The Anniversarie and, even, A Valediction Forbidding Mourning). But the "Coy Mistress" is conspicuously absent - a mere pretext for Marvell to examine his real subjects - time and the brevity of human happiness. Marvell in all of these poems writes with lucidity and wit yet there is often an element of detachment - In many of Marvell's poems we find the same eight-syllable iambic line, yet its effect can vary remarkably. In To His Coy Mistress the vigorousness of the argument appears in the breathless lines - few are end-stopped, and the lines have the rough power of speech. Fiona Williams January 2003 1 ...read more.

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