Marvel to His Mistress: Carpe Diem! Essay

Marvel to His Mistress: Carpe Diem! Essay

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Marvell to His Mistress: Carpe Diem!

In Andrew Marvell's poem "To His Coy Mistress," he's arguing for affection. The object of the speaker's desire wants to wait and take the relationship slow, while the speaker pushes for instant gratification. This persuasive poem makes the point that time waits for no one and it's foolish for two lovers to postpone a physical relationship.

Marvell's piece is structured as a poem but flows as a classical argument. He uses the three stanzas to address the issues of time, love, and sex. In doing so, he creates his own standpoint and satirizes his audience in the process. Using appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos; logical reasoning; and even a hint of the Rogerian technique - Marvell proves that acting now is essential. The logical argument for the "carpe diem" theme is built up from beginning to end.

At the start, the first stanza of the poem is full of flattery. This is the appeal to pathos. The speaker is using the mistress's emotions and vanity to gain her attention. By complimenting her on her beauty and the kind of love she deserves, he's getting her attention. In this first stanza, the speaker claims to agree with the mistress - he says he knows waiting for love provides the best relationships. It feels quasi-Rogerian, as the man is giving credit to the woman's claim, he's trying to see her point of view, he's seemingly compliant. He appears to know what she wants and how she should be loved. This is the appeal to ethos. The speaker seems to understand how relationships work, how much time they can take, and the effort that should be put forth. The woman, if only reading stanza one, would think her and the speaker are in total agreement.

This idea, however, is flee...


... middle of paper ...


...vell proves this throughout the poem. The satire exists in the expectation that love has to occur before sex. He is almost taunting those who want to wait that long, showing them that their plans are futile and they're only wasting the short time they're given.

Because this classical argument is in poem-form, the order is non-conventional. The claim lies in the theme of the final stanza. After two prior stanzas of intro, evidence, and refutation; readers see just what Marvell was trying to prove. Whether the reader sees the satire or not may depend on the readers themselves. Those who see this poem may not realize they're guilty of believing that the love and patience in stanza one exist. The presentation of this argument works because it seems sweet at first glance, logical when looked at again, and satirical when looked at against the views of the society.

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