To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell


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The argument that is presented throughout this poem, like many other poems, is one that involves love. The narrator is an older man who has found love with a much younger mistress. Because of his old age, he tries to act on his love quickly. The narrator makes an attempt to encourage his lover to act on their love, and give up her virginity.

The narrator begins the poem stating that if he had enough time, perhaps an eternity, he would spend his time praising and loving his mistress. He would be able to take his time to express his love for her. His pursuit would ultimately lead to his goal, a goal that most men share, sex with his lover. The narrator soon finds that he has one major obstacle in his way. He knows that he does not have an eternity; time seems to be chasing him and slowing him down. He feels threatened by time and considers it to be his greatest enemy in his quest for his lover's virginity. Time it seems is threatening the love that he shares with this mistress. This concept of time will ultimately lead to what he considers the unthinkable, old age and the eventual death of his lover still a virgin. She will be laid to rest in a grave, or tomb. She will be able to rest peacefully here, but she will rest alone and away from him. He will have lost his lover forever, along with his chance to make his calculated move of penetration. Instead of taking her long lasting virginity, time will catch her and time will be responsible for laying her to rest with her virginity still intact. After her death worms will seek to penetrate her tomb, and devour the virgin woman with no love or remorse for her.

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"To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Jan 2018
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Because of this, the narrator believes that the lovers should act in the present time and go through with their lovemaking. The narrator knows that they will never escape time, and moves for a quick persuasion of his lover to make the most of what is presented to them.



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