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A Comparison of Persuasive Techniques in 'To His Coy Mistress' and 'An Answer To A Love Letter'

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A Comparison of Persuasive Techniques in 'To His Coy Mistress' and 'An Answer To A Love Letter'

'To His Coy Mistress' is a poem written by Andrew Marvell (1621 -
1678). From the poem, it can be seen that he is trying to persuade his
mistress to have sex with him. Although the male persona that reveals
this story, the intent of Marvell was probably for humour and as
entertainment for others. 'An Answer To A Love Letter' is another
poem, written by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689 - 1762), but in
contrast to Marvell's, it is used to reject an admirer's interest and
could be seen as a reply. The poem describes how a female persona
declines an admirer. While this story takes place, Montagu
simultaneously rebukes men in general. This inclination may have been
caused by her bad experiences in marriage. Both poems use persuasion,
although for different purposes.

Andrew Marvell was born at Winestead-in-Holderness, Yorkshire, on
March 31, 1621. At 3 years old, he moved to Hull where his father,
Reverend Andrew Marvell became a lecturer at Holy Trinity Church.
Andrew Marvell was educated at Hull Grammar School and studied at
Trinity College in Cambridge. Two poems that he had written, one in
Greek and one in Latin, were printed in 1637. The next year he was
accepted as a Scholar of Trinity College and took his B.A. degree.
Within a few days, his mother had died and after his father died also
within 2 years, he left Cambridge. It was in this period, after he
started travelling in Europe, that he wrote 'To His Coy Mistress'.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu was born in 1689, the eldest daughter of the
Duke of Kingston. Her family were wealthy, but n...


... middle of paper ...


...rue of Montagu's poem. In the same way, Montagu's
logical argument is shown by the structure. Montagu has different
sections in her poem and although she has not split it into stanzas,
the divisions are quite obvious. The first section is about the
admirer, how he has everything, is married and should not try to
seduce her. She then scolds men in general in the next section,
insulting men and showing her disgust. In her next section, she
describes how she had been hurt before, how someone has already taken
her heart and broken it. She tells how she feels men lie and deceive
in the following section before ending with a section on the
consequences.

Although both do use logical argument, it is more evident in "To His
Coy Mistress" as his is split into the different stanzas while "An
Answer To A Love Letter" is not.


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