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Comparing Beggar Woman by William King and To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell

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Comparing Beggar Woman by William King and To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell


'Beggar Woman'(William King) and 'To His Coy Mistress'(Andrew Marvell)
are two poems written in the 17th century when society was very
different to how it is today: women had no status, rights, or
independence. All aspects of society were male dominated, they ruled,
and so all laws and acts were in the favour of males. The poems are
great examples of how society was when they were written, they also
mirror the roles each gender played in the various aspect of life, the
males active and controlling, the women passive, and they had to be
compliant.

At the beginning of this poem, there is a description of a gentleman
out hunting, which is an upper class activity, as they are the only
people who could afford to take part in such an expensive activity,
also by the fact he is described as a 'Gentleman' suggests he belongs
to the upper class or 'Gentry'. The 'Gentleman spots the 'Beggar
Woman' and she is described as 'game', because really to the man that
is all she (the Beggar Woman) is, due to her gender and social status.
When he wants the Beggar Woman's attention he addresses her as
'mistress' which shows respect, yet not so much as to call her a lady,
just enough to keep on the right side of her until he gets what he
wants, I think. The man then proceeds to issue commands to the lady,
due to his class and gender this, at this period in time was socially
accepted. The man thinks that the woman is going to give him what he
wants, sex; however, the situation he is left with the end is very
different to the outcome he hoped, and from his view, probably
considerably greater commitment than he had hoped for. Aside for the
obvio...


... middle of paper ...


...ionship,
both women I assume, would rather not be in their respective
positions. Many of the attitudes expressed in the poem are
understandable such as the Beggar Woman's views, as shown at the end
of 'The Beggar Woman' may have been revolutionary and uproarious at
the time, are now seen as the correct and fair way to do things.
However this is the only view in the poem I find acceptable, the rest
I find dated such as, as I have explained the class divide, and also
the sexual inequalities, women being treated as a inferior species
almost. Still many of the views etc. expressed in these poems are
applicable today, the 'Carpe Diem' attitude is still adopted, rather
foolishly I think, by many young people. The modern reader of the poem
should learn from the way some things were how not to do things again,
to learn from the mistakes of previous generations.


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