Comparing Andrew Marvell's To His Coy Mistress and John Donne's Flea Essay

Comparing Andrew Marvell's To His Coy Mistress and John Donne's Flea Essay

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Andrew Marvell’s To His Coy Mistress and John Donne’s Flea


Andrew Marvell and John Donne both wrote “carpe diem” poetry full of vivid imagery and metaphysical conceits. This message can be clearly seen in the poems "To His Coy Mistress" by Marvell and Donne’s "Flea." Though both poems take a similar approach to the topic addressed, it is Marvell that writes more thoughtfully and carefully, coercing instead of Donne’s seemed demanding\begging.

The speaker in “Coy Mistress” is trying to convince his woman of choice that it is much better to have sex now than to save her virginity for the future. Why save it until they are married? The man wants to experience the pleasure now. Marvell’s message here seems to be that instead of worrying about the future; planning exactly when we should do things, humans should take things as they come and enjoy them before it is too late. This theme relates to all aspects of life, not just sex.

Donne’s narrator, though having the same goal and idea, is far more blunt in his reasoning. Noticing a flea that presumably had bitten them both, he ar...

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