To His Coy Mistress Close Reading

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A Close Reading of ‘To His Coy Mistress’ Andrew Marvell’s poem ‘To His Coy Mistress’ is a seduction poem where the speaker is trying to convince his ‘mistress’, who is being shy, to give up her chastity to him. He does this by using the argument of ‘time’ presenting the idea that both speaker and listener are mortal humans so for them, time is finite. Marvell writes from the perspective of the speaker however the lexis of the title, ‘To His’, implies that Marvell himself is not the speaker but an onlooker or witness. The poem is written in 46 lines of rhyming couplets with the rhyme scheme AA, BB, CC, DD, EE etc. Marvell uses iambic tetrameter giving a fast beat to the lines which is adds to the sense of necessity he wishes to create to the…show more content…
Here he uses a contrast in imagery from the first stanza. Whereas in the first stanza the focus of the imagery is on the connotations of religion, giving a sacred, sentimental feel supported by the use of the word “rubies” in line 6 to give the image of importance and value. He now uses death imagery within the stanza to shock the listener “Thy beauty shall no more be found; /Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound /My echoing song; then worms shall try/That long-preserved virginity, /And your quaint honor turn to dust, /And into ashes all my lust: /The grave’s a fine and private place” (lines 25-31) the lexis here provokes an extensive amount of death imagery using heavy words such as “marble vault”, “worms”, “turn to dust” “ashes all my lust” and “the grave” all of which have immense connotations of death. Although there are still religious references used here such as “ashes” and “dust” which are commonly used as part of a Christian memorial service the images are of a much darker part of religion. Marvell uses this as a device as he is continuing the theme of religion through the poem which is, to the Mistress, clearly of high value demonstrated through her chastity however as time progresses the images become more sinister which helps portray to the Mistress the effect of

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