Andrew Marvell'S Poem, ‘To His Coy Mistress’ (Hereafter
1941 WordsJan 31, 20178 Pages
Andrew Marvell 's poem, ‘To His Coy Mistress’ (hereafter I shall refer to the poem as ‘Mistress’) is a beautifully provocative poem. ‘Mistress’ encompasses many literary techniques including tone, imagery, alliteration, metaphor, irony, enjambment and similes. It is written in iambic tetrameter as a three part proposition to his mistress, and Marvell employs alternative poetic styles (as mentioned previously) to enhance each of the three arguments in the poem. In essence, ‘Mistress’ examines the assertion that after death, morality is of no value. Marvell accentuates the triviality of his mistress being vain during her lifetime, emphasizing that she must do away with all trepidation when it comes to temptation. Like many metaphysical poets…show more content…
To further woo and enchant his audience, alliteration is also used to great effect, in line 1 ‘we’ and ‘world’, in line 2 ‘coyness’ and ‘crime’, in Line 3 ‘we would’ and ‘which way’ and finally in line 4 ‘long love’s’.
In the next 16 lines, it can be sensed the reader has upon his lips a slow smirk forming that coincides with the sly tone of the first argument. Marvell conjures up ethereal, tantalizingly beautiful images to flatter his mistress with an insincere exaggeration of her beauty and virtue. The imagery is insincere because it travels the full, albeit completely unrealistic, gamut of time and space. The first example of this is with ‘Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side Should’st rubies find’ where he uses the metaphor relating the magically distant, recently discovered unspoilt Ganges’ river to the equally uncharted waters of his mistress’ sexuality. The image of his mistress searching for rubies set in stark contrast of his whereabouts ‘I by the tide Of Humber would complain’ whilst being a romantic image also reinforces her virginity.
With lines 7-8‘I would Love you ten years before the flood’ refers to Genesis 6-9 and the image of the incredibly pious Noah et al in his ark after forty days and forty nights of rain; (This is in itself an ironic image as God actually tells Noah and his three sons to engage in sexual intercourse. ) in conjunction with lines 9-10 ‘And you should, if you please, refuse Till the conversion of the Jews’ sets up the