The Mythological/Archetypal Approach Reading of Andrew Marvell’s “to His Coy Mistress”

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I. 1st Stanza

“Had we but world enough, and time, This coyness, lady, were no crime”. An old gentleman is trying to win a heart of a young woman. She could be a coquette that seduces men to gain their admiration and the affections, for the sake of praising their beauty or from a desire of conquest; and would not respond to their feelings while she is toying them. At any rate, it was more than the convention in Marvels’ day for a pretty woman when she found herself talking with any man, displaying her shyness or reserve or unwillingness, at least for the first little while.

“We would sit down, and think which way, To walk, and pass our long love’s day.” In these lines, we assume that time continues forever because the poem describes the
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The poem stated “Time’s winged chariot hurrying near” in which “Time’s winged chariot” refers to the chariot that god Apollo is riding through the east to west daily. Apollo is the sun god in Greek Mythology. Thus, Andrew Marvell associates the sun god to the passing of time.

“And yonder all before us lie, Deserts of vast eternity”, these lines show death. Desert is an archetype of death. Marble vault is a symbol for a tomb. The worms stated in the poem can be interpreted as actual worms that will eat the human flesh when they die. Worms are also a phallic symbol. In the poem it can be interpreted as another man that will consume the coy mistress. The persona is letting the addressee know that any time they will die. He wants to tell the addressee that they should seize the day before their death comes. He is also implying that he wants to make romance with the coy mistress before another man will.

Dust and ashes are used in the poem. As stated in the Bible, everybody comes from dust and if anyone dies they will turn back to where they came from, dust and ashes. These statements are usually used during funeral services. It shows that the poem has a religious background. Andrew Marvell used his knowledge of religion to make his poem.

III. 3rd Stanza In the third stanza, the persona is going to make a move. The poem stated “And while thy willing soul transpires, At every pore with instant fires” in which

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