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Would You Categorise 'To His Coy Mistress' (Andrew Marvell) as a Metaphysical or a Classical Poem?

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Coy mistress 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'. Throughout the poem, there are multiple rhyming couplets, 'part', 'heart' and 'place', 'embrace'. However, there are obliterations to this trend, where initially the lines appear to rhyme, but on closer examination, they do not, for example, 'Try,' 'Virginity. Carpe diem (an attitude of seize the day) Metaphysical poems are lyric poems. They are brief but intense meditations, characterized by striking use of wit, irony and wordplay. ...read more.


However, the body of the poem is written in the first and second person suggesting that his love addresses his lady directly. In his first verse, he says 'Had we but world and time', which suggests that he is setting up a condition and then taking everything back before giving it. The use of 'would' in line 3 shows his lavish forms of courtship that he 'would' but will not be happy to perform. The alliteration of 'long love' and repetition of elongated vowel sounds like 'o' helps the rhythm of the poem to flow more smoothly and gives the poem a soft romantic touch. Marvell shows his intelligence by referring to exotic places for instance the 'Indian Ganges' in his poem. He also uses biblical references like 'before the flood', which is supposed to represent the idea of Noah's Ark and how a big storm came causing a 'flood' and animals dieing. These hyperboles that he uses which also include phrases like 'an hundred years,' 'two hundred,' and 'thirty thousand,' is so that he can exaggerate his feelings and emotions. Metaphors used like 'winged chariot' and 'vegetable love' helps to expand the meaning and clarify his feeling and emotions that he has for his mistress. ...read more.


These soft, loving words are then pursued by ones of dark and morbid images. 'Then worms shall try that long preserved virginity'. This is saying the worms have more chance of touching her body before he does. 'The graves a fine and private place, but none do there embrace'. This shows their relationship is fading; they must embrace before it is too late. This is a contrast to the ideas from 'The Rising Sun'. They lover sees the bed 'as thy centre'. This shows that his lover is the centre of his universe. The final section of Marvell's poem uses much harsher and aggressive language than the rest of his poem. Words such as 'devour', 'tear', and 'rough strife' add to the aggressiveness of 'like amorous birds of prey'. These images are all callous and hostile and add another twist to his poem. From reading these two poems and then contrasting them, I have come to a conclusion. I see 'The Rising Sun' by John Donne as two lovers who experience true love, as they cannot bear to be apart from one another. However, the lovers in 'To His Coy Mistress' seem to just be experiencing lust for on another. Their time together does not seem to be enjoyed, waited out in order to get something worthwhile in the end. ...read more.

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