Formalistic Approach To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell Essay example

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The formalistic approach to an open text allows the reader to devour the poem or story and break down all the characteristics that make it unique. The reader is able to hear the text rather than read it, and can eventually derive a general understanding or gist of the text. "According to the Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature "when all the words, phrases, metaphors, images, and symbols are examined in terms of each other and of the whole, any literary text worth our efforts will display its own internal logic" (Geurin 75)." When utilizing the formalistic approach, the reader must search in and out of the lines for point of view, form, imagery, structure, symbolism, style, texture, and so on. Using the general theme of time, it …show more content…
Clearly, this man only possesses selfish motives and will not wait for the woman to make a decision. The anxiety of the man becomes visible when the poem states, "And yonder all before us lie/Deserts of vast eternity," (Marvell 23-24). After offering the woman valid reasons for lack of time, he decides to proposition her in the third stanza. Instead of asking for the woman's permission, he now chooses to call for action. Marvell illustrates his plan when he writes, "Now let us sport us while we may...and tear our pleasures with rough strife," (37, 43). Evidently, the poem successfully utilizes stanza and temporal structure to display the effect of time as well as the motives of the characters.

Style also reflects the theme of time by integrating remarkable word choice and repetition into the poem "To His Coy Mistress". For example, the male in this story consistently speaks of "time", "love", "age", and "vast" as innuendo that persuades the female into rushing. Besides mentioning the lack of time they possess, he also wishes to remind her of the consequences of waiting. He tends to acknowledge these aspirations sexually, for he knows he will face a dark eternity alone without her. To further describe the guilt he places on the woman he states, "...then worms shall try that long-preserved virginity, and your quaint honor turn to dust, and into ashes all my lust..." (Marvell
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