Persuading their Mistresses in The Flea and To His Coy Mistress

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Persuading their Mistresses in The Flea and To His Coy Mistress

Examine the ways in which the poets in The Flea and To His Coy
Mistress try to persuade their mistresses.

Both "The Flea" by John Donne and "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew
Marvell are seduction poems, written by the poets to seduce their mistresses. Both have three stanzas and a basic couplet rhyming structure. Donne and Marvell are metaphysical poets from the 17th century. They have taken simple ideas and stretched them far - for example, using a flea as a symbol of union. They have made philosophical poems about simple facts of life - for example, the fear of death seen in "To His Coy Mistress". The similarity seen between these poems is quite surprising - the
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The flea is the subject of much of what the poet talks about, and the imagery used is interesting. He uses the flea to convince his mistress of his love for her, and to persuade her to have sex with him. In "To His Coy
Mistress" there is no one object used to symbolise the love, but interesting and significant imagery is used often, and to great effect. Different images are used to persuade the poet's mistress that to sleep with him would be a good thing.

In stanza 1 of "The Flea" we see as the poet begins by trying to convince his mistress with the idea that sex is not an important thing. He claims that the flea has already mixed their blood, after he bit them, so they're already together in that way, "And in this flea our two bloods mingled be." In this stanza, the poet has taken a firm, instructive manner - the first line reads "Mark but this flea and mark in this". This is an instruction, which tells us how the poet is feeling: confidant, sure and certain. He describes what she is denying him as "little", which follows with his persuasive argument to her that sex is a small unimportant thing. There is an image of pregnancy as Donne describes the flea as "pamper'd swells with one blood made of two". Here is talking about what could happen if they did have sex; but reading it from the angle of a biting flea, giving it a seedy - almost repulsive edge. This stanza is rounded up,
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