Comparison of How John Donne and Andrew Marvell Present Death in Poems To His Coy Mistress and Holy Sonnet X

Comparison of How John Donne and Andrew Marvell Present Death in Poems To His Coy Mistress and Holy Sonnet X

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Comparison of How John Donne and Andrew Marvell Present Death in Poems To His Coy Mistress and Holy Sonnet X



In the poems To His Coy Mistress and Holy Sonnet X the idea of death
plays a strong part in the overall messages of the poems. Both poets
use effective but very different methods in order to put forward their
views and/or to make a point about society.
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John Donne's poem Holy Sonnet X is very unique Donne uses two main
poetic elements: tone and figurative language. The confident and
defiant tone adds to the speakers triumphant mastery death from a
natural occurrence into a human adversary, capable of being
overthrown. These elements all combine to enhance the theme of the
poem. In contrast Marvell in To His Coy Mistress uses tone, figurative
language and rhythm to give a completely different effect on the
reader. The scornful, jeering manner of Sonnet X is replaced with the
passionate and endearing spirit of an ardent lover. The figurative
language used on the 'coy' mistress stirs the emotions and shocks the
senses of the reader, allowing the increased intensity of the poem as
it progresses to make the poem more effective.

The substantial difference between the two poems with regards to their
approach of death is the influence of how the poets themselves view
death. Donne makes his poem all the more personal by insisting, "nor
yet canst thou kill me". Donne is actually using the poem to express
his own view that death should not be feared, as it has been since the
beginning of time. Donne makes it clear that he is not controlled by
fear of death, as m...


... middle of paper ...


...ust around the corner - and contradicted this argument with
astonishing shrewdness.

Holy Sonnet X speaks out to me because of its astonishing directness.
Donne has captured the very essence of Death and combined it with the
jeering tones to bring the unseen force down to the level of an
ordinary being.

To His Coy Mistress appeals to my personal tastes, in the style and
message of the poem. It is a very clever poem. Marvell very
successfully lulls the reader into a passiveness with nicely rhyming
couplets with only a few grotesque images to add to the overall effect
of the poem. He demonises time as a tyrant, slowly killing us all
until death finally kicks in to finish us. He then gives the
impression that the best way to fight this demon is to love with
enough passion to free us of the circle of life and death.

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