Marvell

Marvell

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Is love empty? Is there nothing except the pursuit of lust and no time for courtship or time to love another person emotionally? Physical love provides a quick bond but often has no emotional or lasting value. Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress” develops a carefully constructed argument as the speaker seeks to persuade his lady to surrender her virginity to him.
The argumentative point made by the speaker in this poem is the importance of time and a man in love not being able to wait another second to express his love for the women he desires. He begins with “Had we but world enough, and time, This coyness, lady, were no crime.” (L 1-2) The speaker is attempting to woo his love interest and court her in order to give her the time she needs to make the important decision. He writes, “We would sit down, and think which way To walk, and pass our long love’s day. Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide of Humber would complain.” Although they were apart they would enjoy the life and time they were given and would plan their future together (L 3-7).
The speaker says he would love her ten years before the flood (the flood of Noah’s ark in the Bible) and he says that if she please she could refuse till the conversion of the Jew’s (the end of the world). He would give her all the time in the world. (L7-10). The speaker says that he would praise her eyes for one hundred years and adore her face. (L13-14) He would gaze in to her eyes and express the love he has for her for one hundred years. Two hundred years to each breast and thirty thousand years to all the rest. The speaker would love and adore her body and would be gentle and warm loving her the way a lover should. He states, “An age to least to every part, and the last age should show your heart.” The lover would explore her heart and feelings and emotions and love them the same (L15-18).
Complementing her, the writer says, “For lady you deserve this state; Nor would I love at lower rate.” He feels that she deserves to be pampered and doted on and treated right, like a princess.

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Unfortunately they don’t have the time for formal courting (L19-20). “But at my back I always hear Time’s winged chariot hurrying near;”(L21-22)
The Speaker is an older man and he fears that if they do not hurry he wont be able to love her physically. He says that before them lay deserts of vast eternity. (L23-24) Here he means that when they die eternity is barren and there will be no love. If they were to make love, they have to do it now before they die. “Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound My echoing song; then worms shall try that long preserved virginity, and your quaint honor turn to dust, and into ashes all my lust.” He is asking why should you hold on to your honor, your virginity if you are only going to die and lose the chance to love a man before he dies and turns to dust (L26-30). He continues with, “The grave’s a fine and private place, But none, I think, do there embrace” meaning that you are going to be alone in your tomb and there will be no love or happiness there (L31-32). “Now therefore, while the youthful hue sits on the skin like morning dew,” the lover is insisting that they should hurry and get things together while she is still young and beautiful (L33-34). The speaker says “And while thy willing soul transpires at every pore with instant fire,” while they are young and willing and the fire is still burning strong inside of them they should make love (L35-36).
“And now, like am’rous birds of pray, Rather at once our time devour” he is encouraging them to be focused on their love like a bird of pray who is focused on a kill and they should hurry before their time is devoured or time is up (L38-39). The speaker says “Let us roll all our strength and all our sweetness up into one ball, and tear our pleasures with rough strife thorough the iron gates of life” he is pleading that they put all their energy and power into the love they have for each other (L41-44). “Thus, though we cannot make our sun stand still, yet we will make him run” finally they cant stop time and make the sun stand still but instead they will make him run they will make time go by faster while they are in each others arms (L45-46).











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