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Essay on The Seize the Moment Theme of To His Coy Mistress

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    Have sex with me now before you die.  This is a very strong statement which, when said, has to get someone's attention; and that is exactly what Andrew Marvell intends for the reader in this poem.  He wants the undivided attention of this mistress so that he can scare her and rush her into making a decision the way he wants and in due time. Filled with time flavored symbolism, "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell, exemplifies the seize the moment theme.

        The cyclical, life symbolizing river, the water flowing by like time, is the first place Marvell  places the characters.  And even though they are very far apart, time still flows by for them both.  As the water flows, this concept begins to hint at the shortness of time, for them to have sex, the source of new life.  He then proceeds to claim that he could love her ten years before the flood, something already ancient, and up to the end of the world, using the juxtapositioning of the two views of time enhance his argument and to convince to accept his offer by telling her of his long-term commitment for her in the short-term.  This flood also symbolizes life in the fresh start of the new covenant.  Because time keeps going, with or without them, they must be active participants and not just the static spectator.  Otherwise, the fate Marvell
relates would become their reality.

        Marvell's vegetable love is rather oxymoronic.  Love is not normally like the uncaring, thoughtless, and noncommunicating plant. And yet his love is vegetable in that it is not adaptable.  She is the water, food, and light for his love; and as long as she is there, he will love her.  She is evrerything that supports his love, and if she is not there, his vegetable could not be...


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...hed 'lines' of more frivolous writers to become a stirring meditation on the importance of living fully during the brief span allotted us (Brians).

        Andrew Marvell tries in this carpe diem poem, "To His Coy Mistress," to use time and symbols to convince her to seize the day. He uses the river, the worm and many direct references to time to express the urgency of the situation. He then says that his love is vegetable and that this coy mistress is the only one that can sustain this living love.  Then he threatens death, gets aggressive, and shows her that her youth is fleeting, and that if she does not change, she will be miserable.


Sources Cited 

Brians, Paul. "Study Guide for Classic English Love Poems," Paul Brians' Homepage. n. pag. On-line. Internet. 3 Sept. 1996. Available:http://www.wsu.edu:8000/~/love-in-the-arts/classic_english_love-poems.html


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