Compare the way Andrew Marvell and William King present relationships

Compare the way Andrew Marvell and William King present relationships

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Compare the way Andrew Marvell and William King present relationships
between men and women in To His Coy Mistress and The Beggar Women.

If we look at the 2 poems we can see some quite significant
similarities between them about the relationships between men and
women. We see in both poems the desire for sex from the two men, but
both attempt to acquire it through different methods due to the
difference in class between the women.

First we must look at the difference in forms of the two poems. To His
Coy Mistress is a dramatic monologue and so we can therefore see the
narrator's attitude towards the lady he is trying to seduce. The
Beggar Women is a ballad (so it is telling a story) this means that
you can find a moral to the story; however, you are unable to see the
attitude of the 'gentlemen' towards the women as easily.

I both poems we see that neither of the men have much respect for the
women. In The Beggar Women we see that the 'gentlemen' views the women
very low which is perhaps given the historical context of the poem. In
the poem he refers to her as "game", comparing her to the animals he
was hunting, almost saying that she isn't considered important enough
to be human. It then says, "her cheeks were fresh, and linen clean"
which may suggest that the situation is not what it seems. In To His
Coy Mistress we also see the narrator has little respect for the lady;
however in this poem it seems quite unnecessary because she is a
respectable lady. He mocks her for being a virgin - her "quaint
honour" but in those times being virginal was the only way for a women
to maintain a good reputation.

In The Beggar Women the initial rhyming scheme is "rhyming couplets".
The pattern deteriorates as the beggar woman begins to take control
over the situation without the man realising. In To His Coy Mistress,
if we look at the rhythm of the first 4 lines, it is in iambic
quatrametre. This is a very powerful rhythm and may reflect just how
hard the narrator is trying to seduce the women.

In both poems there is also the obvious similarity of the men's one
desire of sex and nothing else and how much they will do to achieve
this. To His Coy Mistress shows the narrator taking a kind and adoring
approach to getting the lady into bed with him in the first part of
the poem (up to line 20). In this part he uses time as a positive

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force saying that he could flatter her forever and she could refuse
him and he would be fine with that "I would love you ten years before
the flood: and you should, if you please, refuse, till the conversion
of the Jews". When this fails, he tries to scare her into it by using
time as a negative power, "that long preserved virginity: and your
quaint honour turn to dust". Here the narrator says that the honour of
being a virgin means nothing when you are dead and our lives are too
short not to. In The Beggar Women its obvious the squire wants to have
sex as he offers her money. As she is gaining the power and control
over the situation through subtly refusing him, the squire has to do
more. He offers to take the baby and put it on his back so they can
get started, but not out of kindness, "were the child tied to me, d'ye
think 'twould do?". This is an example of prophetic irony (he
unwittingly predicts the future unaware of the ironic importance of
those words).

In The Beggar Women, we can see a moral to the story. It shows very
well the consequences of men's actions that may leave the women in bad
circumstances that men don't have to worry about (obviously if they
get pregnant). In this we see the man is stranded with the baby "I
trust the child to you with all my heart", the moral being men should
take more responsibility after sex. To His Coy Mistress does not
explore this aspect of the relationship between men and women;
however, it does show the man trying to take more responsibility by
the act of sex being an expression of the love the two share not just
a random pleasurable experience at the beginning. Although later, we
see this is actually him faking it for sex. This is an example of a
man being irresponsible by trying to seduce the women. He doesn't
really seem to have any feelings of love for her other than the ones
he pretends to have "my vegetable love should grow vaster than empires
and more slow" - his love for her will grow enormous and the image of
the vegetable is probably perhaps suggests that the love is almost

In both poems it is clear that the men are trying to obtain sex in
what most would consider in an indecent way (lies and paying). I think
it is clear that the moral in both poems is men should have sex for
love and to have a child with the women not for fun and leaving the
women without a father/husband.
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