An exploration of the theme of persuasion in love poetry using Andrew Marvells, "To His Coy Mistress", John Donne "The Flea", Christopher Marlowe "The Passionate Shepherd to his love" and Bruce Springsteen's "Thunder Road".

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Benjamin Woollan  10Br

English literature poetry essay.

An exploration of the theme of persuasion in love poetry using Andrew Marvells, “To His Coy Mistress”, John Donne “The Flea”, Christopher Marlowe “The Passionate Shepherd to his love” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road”.

For many years poets have used poetry as a way to declare their love to their women. The poets in the poems we are studying use persuasive methods, they may even try to shock the women or pamper them into their way of thinking.

In class we have studied four poems, John Donne “The Flea” Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress” Christopher Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd To His Love” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road”.

In the first stanza of “To His Coy Mistress Marvell is praising his lady, raising her up on high and adoring her beauty.  

“Had we but world enough, and time,

This coyness, Lady, were no crime.” 

Here he makes clear that he would wait forever and if there was enough time, he would sit down and talk and discuss her shyness. That makes the lady think he would be all loving and care for her if there was time. He just wants her to come round to his way of thinking, Marvell reassures his lady by saying that he would,

Walk and pass our long love’s day.”

Although Marvell is trying to rush his lady into making a decision, here he is explaining that he is a gentleman and would be patient in his praise and indulgent of her whims. He also gives her a sense of loving by using alliteration, “long love’s”. He goes on to explain that he will love her,

“Till the conversion of the Jews”

As the Jews will never convert he is saying that he will love her forever. He also says that he will learn to love slowly and his love will grow bigger than empires but more slow and he will take his time as he says,

“My vegetable love should grow

Vaster that empires, and more slow”

He uses rhythm and rhyme to enhance the relaxed air of indulgence he wants to create and lull her into a ……. Mood. Becoming more con

“An hundred years should go to praise

Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;”

He then goes on to say he will spend many years adoring each body part and he says that all this attention she deserves as she is a lady and that he would not love her any less than this,

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“For, Lady, you deserve this state,

Nor would I love at a lower rate”

  In this stanza he becomes more quaint with the lady and explains what will happen if she does not make a decision. He tries to shock her to his thinking by telling her beauty is running out and so is time.

“But at my back I always hear

Time’s winged chariot hurrying near;

And yonder all before us lie”

He is saying that he is constantly being reminded that time is not on their side and that time has a “winged ...

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