Time is of the essence: break down of “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell
The poem, “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell, is considered a carpe diem (meaning seize the day) kind of poem. The author really gets into the character of a man trying in vain to convince a young lady to engage in a sexual relationship with him. His motivation appears to be animal like desire rather than true love. The man in the poem is a very passionate guy.. The persuasion used in this poem is very aggressive with clear intentions. However this poem is not just about raw passion and persuasion, but also about time. As he tries to persuade this lady he consistently refers back to time throughout the poem. The man compliments and also tries to scare the lady with his word choices in the first stanza and second stanza.
The poem follows a common setup called a lyrical. The poems meter and rhyme are called iambic tetrameter. Iambic or iambus is a metrical foot consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable or a short syllable followed by a long syllable. (The American Heritage College Dictionary,685) Tetrameter is defined as a line of verse consisting of four metrical feet. (The American Heritage College Dictionary,1425) The last syllable of Line 1 rhymes with the last syllable of line 2, the last syllable of line 3 rhymes with the last syllable of line 4. It goes on like this throughout the poem, with the exception of a few. This use of rhyming makes the poem very catchy and fun to read.
The poem is called “To His Coy Mistress” giving the impression that it is a letter being written rather than a conversation between two people. He makes his argument to the “Mistress” but she never really comes into the story herself throughout the reading. The word mistress can mean lady, caretaker, courtesan, sweetheart, and lover which may suggest that he is possibly married. Perhaps the “Coy Mistress” is reluctant to engage in sexual activity with him...