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Comparison of how The Flea and To His Coy Mistress Present and Develop the Poets' Arguments

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The Flea and To His Coy Mistress are two poems written by poets living during the Renaissance Period. To His Coy Mistress was written by Andrew Marvell and The Flea was written by John Donne. Both of these poets were well-educated 'metaphysical poets', and these poems illustrate metaphysical concerns, highly abstract and theoretical ideas, that the poets would have been interested in. Both poems are based around the same idea of trying to reason with a 'mistress' as to why they should give up their virginity to the poet.
There is a similar theme running through both of the poems, in which both mistresses are refusing to partake in sexual intercourse with both of the poets. The way in which both poets present their argument is quite different as Marvell is writing from a perspective from which he is depicting his mistress as being 'coy', and essentially, mean, in refusing him sex, and Donne is comparing the blood lost by a flea bite to the blood that would be united during sex. Marvell immediately makes clear his thoughts in the poem when he says, "Had we but world enough, and time/ This coyness, Lady were no crime", he is conveying the 'carpe diem' idea that there is not enough time for her to be 'coy' and refuse him sexual intercourse and he justifies this thought when he suggests when she is dead, in ?thy marble vault?, and ?worms shall try that long preserved virginity?. He is using the idea of worms crawling all over and in her corpse as a way of saying that the worms are going to take her virginity if she waits until death. Donne justifies his bid for her virginity in a much longer and more methodical way, he uses the idea of the flea taking her blood and mixing it with his, ?It suck?d me first, and now sucks thee?, and then...


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...n The Flea) were viewed as extremely inventive and clever in the eyes of the people reading them during the Renaissance period.
The poets integrated ?metaphysical conceits? as focal parts of these poems. Along with these, they used effective language as a basis for their convincing arguments, they included subjects of periodical importance (e.g. ?courtship? and ?religion?), and use very clever structures that are manipulated in order to make the poem read in the desired way. The very clear indication of the theme in question was strongly aided by the way in which the personas portrayed the emotions they felt and the way they showed their attitudes towards the subject. Considering all these factors, the poets made critical arguments to the mistresses in order to alter their views, thus changing their minds, on denying the poets the sex that they desired so strongly.


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