To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell

719 WordsJan 30, 20183 Pages
Andrew Marvell’s poem, “To His Coy Mistress” is an equally beautiful and provocative piece of writing. Written in iambic form as a three-part proposition addressed to the “coy mistress,” the poem is permeated with literary devices such as tone, alliteration, imagery, hyperbole, as well as similes and metaphors. Marvell’s speaker acknowledges the idea that mortality is of little to no value after death. Through the speaker, Marvell is suggesting that one can avoid the regrets of not participating in the adventurous aspects of life by seizing the day, thus supporting the Carpe Diem philosophy. The three-part proposition can be identified through the change of the poem’s tone as well as the change of pace. The first argument has a sly and devious tone. “Had we but world enough, and time, This coyness, lady, were no crime.” (lines 1-2). The use of the punctuations, the commas and the period, hinders the pace of the poem. In doing so, it shows the insignificance of time at that moment. The insignificance of time at the moment is further emphasized when the speaker tells his mistress that they “would sit down, and think which way, To walk, and pass [their] long love’s day” (lines 3-4). The use of alliteration creates a carefree tone, as if the speaker was daydreaming and sighing as he was trying to woo his mistress. Marvell uses delicate and sublime imagery to flatter the mistress with a seemingly disingenuous exaggeration of her physical beauty. Because of the unrealistic use
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