The Essence of Time in Marvell's To His Coy Mistress

The Essence of Time in Marvell's To His Coy Mistress

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        The male species has a very creative mind.  The creative mind

becomes particularly active when the case involves the female species.  In

Andrew Marvell's  "To His Coy Mistress,"  the author shows how his creative

mind is put to use.  Marvell, uses time in an  attempt to manipulate his

coy mistress.

 

        Time is depicted in three different manners.  First, Marvell uses

"ideal time."  In ideal time, he tells how many years he would spend loving

her if they were given the opportunity.  He explains to his mistress that

if time allowed, he would spend hundreds of years just to  admire her

physical being.  Next, he implicates  "real time,"  to persuade her to

become accessible to him.  In real time, Marvell gives examples of her

aging and how she will go to the grave with her pride if she doesn't give

in.  Finally, the use of  "optimum time" plays on her emotions of how

sweet the opportunity to make love to her would be.  Marvell tells his

mistress that the act would  be almost animalistic and intense.  Throughout

the poem, he  uses the phases of time in an attempt to frighten her into

having sex with him.

 

        All three stanza's in the poem  represent a different  time frame.

The first  gives his mistress a feeling of  unconditional love.  He leads

her to believe he would give all he has to her as  long as time will permit.

During the second stanza, Marvell plays on her fear of getting old.  He

warns  her that her beauty isn't everlasting and that  she will end up

unhappy alone if she doesn't give in.  Marvell's use of optimum time,  the

best time, show's his emotions.  He appears to become aggravated.  This

seems to be his ace in the hole.  In my opinion, he uses what he believes

to be the dearest thing to her, the situation of right here, right now.

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        This entire  poem can be compared to a drunks last resort,  the

famous "line" used to pick  up women.  Marvell's thought  out plan to  sway

his mistress portrays  the male's ability to come up with what appeals to

the female nature.  The  essence of time plays on the emotions in trying to

scare the Hell out of his Coy Mistress.
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