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

Andrew Marvell and the Metaphysical Poem. Considered by many to be his most famous poem, To His Coy Mistress was probably written in the early 1650s

Extracts from this document...


Many of the literary works from the period after the Elizabethan Age are known as metaphysical poems. The name was coined by poet and critic Samuel Johnson to describe a group of British lyrical poets of the 17th century who shared interests in the investigation of metaphysical concerns and the use of inventive metaphor. The poets were never formally affiliated, and most never met - but were influenced by the modernization of England after Elizabeth, the new sciences, and the social and political issues that somewhat characterized the 18th century. The style was characterized by wit, far-fetched similes or metaphors (for example, Andrew Marvell's comparison of the soul with a drop of dew), simple verse with complex stanzas, and in a way, a combination of dissimilar images that are not unpleasant to the modern ear, but were quite outrageous at the time (Reid). Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) was one such poet; and also a Member of Parliament and social critic. Unlike some of the other metaphysical poets, he was a colleague and friend of John Milton, and began writing poems that celebrated the political and social life of the Court while he was still in school. ...read more.


This man is intense, speaks eloquently, but essentially has one thing in mind - he desires this woman sexually: Poem Literal Interpretation Had we but world enough, and time.... The poem begins with an air of impatience, but we are given really two settings; the setting we imagine as the reader (listener) and the setting the speaker imagines which could be a host of either erotic or musing areas. Plus, simply by reading the title, we have a point of view that this lady is teasing - or at least the author thinks she is - coy. One major theme, too, is time - the speaker sees time as the big enemy. My vegetable love should grow Vaster than empires, and more slow; This implies that his love (or lust) has no bounds; what do vegetables do? They grow rapidly, spreading out and filling the area with greenery. And, if we think about love vaster than an empire; the largest political state known to the author, that is far and above what anyone might wish. But at my back I always hear Time's winged chariot hurrying near; Again, time is the enemy - it is always encroaching; ...read more.


and glean some insights into the worldview of the time, and the manner in which more expansive thinking was becoming popular. For instance, there is a contrast between the opening and the sections dealing with graves, vaults and worms - these are not visions of love, but of the destiny that awaits all humans. The phrase, "world enough and time," though, has been used again and again in modern literature, and seems to be in contrast to the doom and dark of the graves and worms. Perhaps the entire poem is Marvell's metaphor for life - almost as if we should push through the joys of life, which are the sensual side as metaphors for the author, then we will cheat death in a way and become more human and youthful in the process. The "dew" becomes seductive, in fact, everything is seductive in nature - the world is seductive for this author (Moldenhauer). Too, the entire poem might be read as a treatise on life - with nature being the coy mistress who gives and takes at a whim, and in this case, to seduce nature (e.g. the metaphysics and alchemists of Isaac Newton, etc.), becomes the goal of every sane person. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. 100 plus maketing plan

    When they motivate to any other brand or on 100+ it's in instinct basically that based on messages derive certain feelings. But F&N thinks in a different way, they believe that RC Cola, new coming AMRAT Cola, and all juices, even they take water as their competitors.

  2. Casualty is an elegy written by Irish poet and writer Seamus Heaney. It is ...

    The poet 'see[s] him as he turned / In that bombed offending place'; figuratively 'seeing' him, he imagines the fisherman turning his back on the 'bombed offending place', the inversion of syntax deliberately laying emphasis on the plosive and very onomatopoeic word 'bombed' in order to evoke emotion and auditory

  1. How are the plot, point of view, tone, setting, and theme of the First ...

    (paragraph 7, page7) * Setting The first setting that appears in the short story is the street in the afternoon, it expressed, it was Saturday afternoon in early spring. A small boy whose face looked as thorugh it had been but newly scrubbed was being led by the hand by his sister through a crowded street.

  2. Mending Wall by Robert Frost. Given the use of enjambment and blank verse in ...

    - Irony is also created when we consider the motivations for rebuilding the wall. The wall is built to isolate the speaker and his neighbour from each other but in order to rebuild the wall, the two are forced to come together and interact, defeating the purpose of the wall.

  1. Duffys Poem, Valentine, is a thought provoking and interesting poem, in which an onion ...

    This helps in presenting a constant serious mood, whereby Duffy successfully attracts the reader's attention, the repetition especially emphasises on the nature of the love. The repeated phrase here is unaltered and does not contribute to the rhythm, but it maintains a strong and serious mood for the poem.

  2. Mr Aesop Written Task - (Idea for poem adapted from Duffys original poem Mrs ...

    But no, it?s probably just my estranged wife. She has no sense of direction, no opportunity to laugh, to despair, to act ? Act like a decent human being. No she won?t. So indeed, I must conclude that perhaps it must be a flaw on my part; my inability to better ply her and bend, bend her wishes

  1. Themes and style in "The Road", written by Cormac McCarthy.

    We wouldnt. No matter what. No. No matter what. Because we're the good guys. Yes. And we're carrying the fire.? (Page 40. The Road) 1. Maslow?s hierarchy of Human needs 1. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology, proposed by Abraham Maslow, where he established the different levels of needs that humans need to have in order to survive.

  2. Points of View in the "The Woman Warrior" written by Maxine Hong Kingston

    Kingston chooses to use multiple viewpoints in which to tell her memoirs relative to the situation and needs at hand. She uses first-person singular to tell about her own experiences; while she reverts to third-person singular in places where first-person singular will give her too many limitations.

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