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The Flea by John Donne and To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell Essay

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The Flea by John Donne and To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell


"The Flea" by John Donne is written in the 17th century as is "To his
coy mistress" by Andrew Marvell. This we can see by the language used
which was typical of that period in time "apt to kill me" and "yea"
which are taken from the flea. Both poems also speak of virginity
being very important, especially before marriage because if a woman
had lost her "maidenhead" before, the husband would have the right to
leave her without the need for a divorce.

Both poems have the same theme of seduction. In "The flea" this is put
across in each in three regular stanzas where as "To His Coy Mistress"
is written in to sections. This is to convey that each stanza is still
about the same subject because they are of similar lengths and writing
style. The first stanza of "The Flea" conveys the message of how the
flea has taken blood from both of their bodies and has combine it in
the body of the flea, and so making them united as one "And in this
flea, our two bloods mingled be". Donne's argument is based on this
flea throughout the three stanza's and goes on to start his persuasion
that the flea has had its pleasure in the form of food, and so why can
they not enjoy in a sexual relationship and experience pleasure
similar to what the flea has had, but without the trouble of wooing
her leading on to marrying her. In the second stanza he then goes on
to further push his argument (which at this time seems to be going
quite well) that in the flea's "living wall of jet" they have been put
together even though her parents have doubts "Though parents grudge"
and are almost married (since their bloods have been combined and
become one which, in that period of ...


... middle of paper ...


... with her. However the type of love most
people would like to feel is that in "Shall I Compare Thee" which
displays a staggering amount of compliments for the lady in the poem.

Overall these poems are very different in their portrayal of love, but
each manage to convey it to the reader exceedingly well through use of
structure (such as the dramatic monologue form of "My Last Duchess"
that shows his self centeredness and control), language (such as the
complementary language used in "Shall I Compare Thee"). Imagery is
also used effectively (as in "First Love" when Clare describes himself
as "winter" and girls as "flowers" to show that he does not comply
with them). The actual content used is also very effective as in "To
His Coy Mistress", where the syllogism and the tactics of complements
and frightening are used to, what is in my opinion, good effect.


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