which a man and a woman may be…

November 20, 2018 Religion

which a man and a woman may become “one blood” in sexual union. In “To His Coy Mistress,” the speaker exploits the ‘mistress” coyness in the three different stanzas. In the first stanza, Marvell writes “An hundred years should go to praise / Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze; / Two hundred to adore each breast, / But thirty thousand to the rest” (Marvell, Line 13, 14, 15, 16). He writes this in an effort to say her coyness would not be a problem at all if they had an eternity. However in the second stanza, he describes how time, or death, is rapidly closing them down and they will be dying soon, so they need to hurry. He describes that in writing “But at my back I always hear Time’s winged chariot hurrying near; / And yonder all before us lie” (Marvell, Line 21, 22). The third stanza consists of Marvell describing to the coy ‘mistress’ what they could or should be doing at the time by writing “Now let us sport while we may, / And now, like amorous birds of prey, / Rather at once our time devour” (Marvell Line 37, 38, 39). The mood between both poems is extremely similar, where the writing is slow-paced in the first stanza and continues to rise in pace throughout the poem. This is the result of desperation and impatience from the two speakers. In “To His Coy Mistress,” this is extremely evident. Marvell writes “Had we but world enough, and time, / This coyness, lady, were no crime” (Marvell, Line 1, 2). This shows how the speaker is patient, and accepts the fact that his mistress is being coy, or “playing hard to get.” As death approaches him, he begins to almost feel anxious and nervous. Marvell allows the speaker to accept the fact that time will expire, and it needs to be done before that time comes. The recurring theme throughout the two poems is the idea in which both of the ‘mistresses’ are refusing to lose their virginity to the speakers. The reader knows this is the major theme of the poems because it is the entire purpose of both works. From what one can infer, neither speaker has achieved his goal of seducing he ‘mistress’ because both works finish with efforts still in place. In both poems, religion plays a rather large role. In “The Flea,” when the mood changes in the second stanza because the speaker becomes desperate for the ‘mistress’ not to squish the flea, his approach and mentality towards his argument in efforts to win her virginity changes. As his argument develops throughout the stanzas of the poem, Donne uses religious ideas in hopes that they will allow the ‘mistress’ into submission which she will be comfortable with, allowing her to seduce the speaker.


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