The final stanza of His Coy Mistress, is almost a mixture of one and two, he begins to flatter her again – just as he did in stanza one, but is still very threatening as her was in stanza two. The opening line is: ‘Now therefore, while the youthful hue sits on thy skin like morning dew’ this is the flattering part but in a weird sort of way as he is saying to her, while you’re still youthful and beautiful we should just enjoy time and have fun.
All throughout the stanza he continues to flatter her: ‘At every pore with instant fires’ He means the passion within you. Moreover he begins to go on about time again and exaggerates that the should both have fun while they are still young, attack the relationship, and enjoy and get every bit they can out of it. This is shown in the line: ‘Now let us sport us while we may; and now, like am’rous birds of prey, rather at once our time devour’ It seems as if he is trying his best to mislead her.
This is shown as at one minute he is giving her compliments then the next he turns around and tips it all on its head and starts nagging her about time and how they should spend it wisely. Personally, I think that Marvell wants the time to go by faster but he doesn’t want it to go to waste. This Is shown when he says: ‘Than languish in his slow-chapp’d power’ This basically means that he thinks they shouldn’t take their relationship slowly and that they should have as much fun to make the time go fasters, he putting the saying:
‘time flies when you having fun’ Into practice. In addition to this he again goes on about them just ‘going for it’ but he manages to put it in a strange context. He does this by refering to himself as ‘strength’ and refers to the women as ‘sweetness’ he then says that they should: ‘roll all our strength, and all our sweetness, up into one ball; and tear our pleasures with rough strife’ He’s almost saying that they should roll into one, don’t wait for anybody or anyone else and to go for it while we still can.
Finally the final three lines of this stanza are very over the top, he then moves on to talk about the fact that they can’t control the sun, and they can not stop time, but they can make it go faster, we know this as he says ‘Thus, though we cannot make our sun stand still, yet we will make him run’ this final stanza represents the famous saying ‘Carpe Diem’ which is Latin for ‘Seize the Day’ is basically means to just enjoy life and make the most of everyday – which is what Marvell is telling her to do. In both of these poems the women’s thoughts and feelings on the situation that they are both in aren’t expressed very well.
Especially in ‘To His Coy Mistress’ where we don’t hear of the women at all, she just seems to be listening exactly to what he’s saying. I think this is because she is quite confused by the whole poem, as she probably feels quite flattered one moment to quite scared the next, to then feeling them both at one. I don’t think she knows what to make of it all. If I were to put myself in her position and I only read the second stanza I would feel very offended by what he was saying. ‘Thy beauty shall not be found’ he’s basically telling her that she’s going to be old and ugly one day, and then he will not want her.
It’s not the thing that most women want to hear, and not the best way to try and charm someone into bed. Whereas the women in ‘The Flea’ although we don’t get to hear voice her opinion, we still get a good idea of what she feels. We get this idea from the first stanza,that she is a religious person as he tends to back up most of his arguments with the idea of religion. We also can see that in the second stanza she tries to leave, again it is not voiced from her but we know because Marvell says’ Oh stay’ which gives us the idea that she wants to go.
In this stanza we also hear that not only does she not want to have sex with him, or listen to his argument, her parents are not happy about the idea of the pair fo them together either. ‘Though parents grudge, and you, w’are met’ another part of the poem tells us about the fact that the women even tries to kill the flea as he would have nothing left to argue if she does so, or so she seems to think. To support this he says ‘Though use make thee apt to kill me’ at the end of the poem she manages to kill the flea and feels very proud of herself and she feels as if she has won the argument.
I don’t think in doing this she succeeded in winning, but by doing this she could show Donne what she makes of it all, and tries to do something about it. Whereas the other woman from Marvell’s poem doesn’t say anything at all. Finally in both poems neither woman is giving an identity – as in a name. Also none of them actually speak themselves, it’s as if the men are just thinking of them as something in their lives who does what they want. Moreover in each of these poems the language used by both men shows how very clever both of them are.
Donne puts his argument forward very much like a lawyer would in court trying his very best to win his case, forceful, powerful and rational at all time. He also uses a codicil at the end of each stanza to sum up and put forward his final ideas. The codicil is the last three lines of each stanza, he also leaves his strongest points to the end of the stanza so she remembers them most. For example at the end of the second stanza the codicil is ‘Though use make thee apt to kill me, let not to this, selfe murder added bee, and sacrilege, three sinnes in killing three.
‘ In this codicil Donne is telling the woman not to kill the flea as if she does, she will then be killing a part of both of them as well as committing a sacrilegious act. This is one of many examples of the powerful language he uses, and he again uses religion to try and exaggerate his point. In ‘The Flea’ Donne uses a conceit, which is the flea. He basically bases his entire argument on a little object and uses it to back him up over and over again. It also represents that the argument is a small but powerful one.
He also uses a paradox, this is a type of statement, proposition or situation. Which is seen to be completely absurd and over the top, but can be true in this case the paradox used it, ‘This flea is you and I, and this our marriage bed, and marriage temple is’ He says this because the flea has bitten him and then bitten her, so they’re bloods have mixed together inside of the flea, so it’s as if they have come together inside of the flea resembling a ‘marriage temple’ or church. Marvell also uses language for effect, but doesn’t do so very well as it varies through out the poem.
He begins with mocking the Elizabethan lyric poetry by acting romantic and being very flattering. For example in the beginning stanza he says ‘an hundred years should go to praise. ‘ He goes from using flattering, romantic language to hard, offensive language in the further two stanzas such as ‘Thy beauty shall no more be found. ‘ In ‘The Flea’ Donne uses clever and cunning language and ideas. He uses alliteration and incorrect phrases like ‘An hundred’ which slows down the reading off the poem down to make you think about his ideas, but ironically he wants to enjoy time and make it go by quickly.
I also think there is a conceit in this poem too, and furthermore it is time as like ‘The Flea’ in Donne’s poem, Marvell refers back to time to back-up his argument, whereas Donne uses the flea. He is forever bringing up how little of it they have and that they shouldn’t let it go to waste, or slowly and that they should do all they can to make it go by quicker. For example ‘Time’s winged chariot running near’ that sentence can also be called a personification, as a chariot as been given characteristics of and animal to exaggerate quick movement.
Each of the two poems have very similar structures, they both have three stanzas each, and each stanza uses a different tone to try and persuade their women. In ‘The Flea’ Donne structures the poem very simply, he is being straight to the point and doesn’t take away the effect of how he is writing. He uses codicil at the end of each stanza (a codicil is the last three lines of each stanza, he does this to sum up his points, and leaves his strongest points to the end).
Also these codicils rhyme. He uses rhyming couplets in the first six lines of all the three stanzas. The rhythm shows the confidence that he has got around the woman, and shows that he thinks he will easily get her into bed for his own pleasure and the argument. Marvell also uses rhyming couplets, he does this to reflect the simplicity of sex. His poem is very highly punctuated. In conclusion the two poems have been written so try and get a woman to sleep with the men.
But both men do this in different ways, Donne uses very persuasive and lawyer like language, whereas Marvell goes from flattering her to trying to persuade her to quite blatantly trying to scare her, to a mixture of the two. But they are both very similar as they use far fetched ideas to back up their ideas. I think that Donne uses a more far fetched idea than Marvell, and because of this Donne would be less successful in achieving what he wants. Also Marvell would be more successful as he compliments his women and he exaggerates how much she means to him, he flatters her and awful lot, which is what a woman wants to hear.
It’s almost as if Donne is trying to persuade her into bed, whereas Marvell charms her, most women would rather be charmed into bed than persuaded, and also because of this I think he would be more likely to get her into bed. I personally preferred ‘His Coy Mistress’ to ‘The Flea’ mostly because it’s a lot easier to understand first time round, unlike ‘The Flea’ which takes a lot more reading between the lines. I favored the language used in Marvell’s poem and I also liked the way he put forward his argument of time.
I was able to relate more to Marvell poem, as I’ve never heard an argument been put forward using anything as ridiculous as a Flea, I also can see how she would feel after reading parts of this poem – loved and adored. I do appreciate Donne’s poem, but I don’t appreciate it as much mostly because its not as romantic, and I don’t see how something as beautiful and as complicated as love can be compared to something as ugly and simple as a flea. The language in ‘The Flea’ is also aggressive and pushy in some parts. The manipulation through out the poem is what brought me to dislike it and the theme.