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    Metaphysical Poetry of Andrew Marvell Essay

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    Marvel, whose writing was generally of a witty nature and full of elaborate conceits, Halloween universal concepts such as love, fate and time, reflecting on carper diem In his poems ‘The Definition of Love’ and ‘To His Coy Mistress’. Marvels ‘The Definition of Love’ is an example of lyric poetry based on poetic conceits, as It puts forth the irrational universal theme of love and Its boundaries In the real world. Marvel writes about unrequited passions, Insisting that Fate Itself acts against true love. Throughout the poem, the persona describes his love’s story.

    He outlines that it was impossible in the first stanza and accepts this fact in the last. In the second stanza Marvel exaggerated the theme of Despair in his love saying that It Is “Magnanimous” and exaggerates further with the use of the personification of hope as a flightless bird as it is “feeble” and “could newer have flown,] But vainly flapped its tinsel wing. ” His own feelings of his love are reflected on in the fifth stanza where Marvel uses the concept of parallelism with the Imagery; “Us as the distant poles have placed. One can see this as the persona and the person they have feelings for are standing at the opposite poles of the world, and in this image you can see that they will not meet. In the sixth stanza he gives up on hope declaring that his love is as likely to be returned as “heaven fall[inning]”, in other words, his love will only be returned by some sort of miracle. After the persona falls to that belief, they slowly accept their unrequited love. The depressing tone that this poem is read in stresses the persona’s despair in his love and to keep this tone Marvel uses rhyming couplets and enjambment.

    This despair was brought upon by Fate, which Marvel depicted as a force acting against the persona’s love rather than supporting It. Marvel personifies the universal concept of Fate as a woman with “her tyrannical popВ« intervening with the persona’s happiness in true love. The idea of Fate is explored throughout stanzas three to five, her prowess magnified in each in phrases such as; “But Fate does iron wedges drive”, “her tyrannical power depose” and “her decrees of steel”. The personification of Fate fabricates also the superiority of the abstract, when juxtaposed with the realistic.

    The Definition of Love itself is such a comparison as it brings together that irrational entity that is Love with Marvels attempt to rationalize It. Marvel Is depicting the ideology that divine love can surpass death, while also resenting the idea that physical love will dollish quickly, due to the universal theme of time, which is seen through the use of theological and spiritual symbolism and imagery ” And yet I quickly might arrive/ where my extended soul is fixed”. He spiritual world and its total superiority when contrasted with the physical realm. This notion is Juxtaposed with the main conceptions in ‘To His Coy Mistress’ where he emphasizes the importance of the mortal experience and reality. Marvels ‘To His Coy Mistress’ exploits the universal theme of time as being the underlying factor of contributing to the young man’s plea for sexual connotations tit the young lady. It also explores the paradoxical nature of time itself, in particular the fact that time is the agent of both growth and decay.

    In the first stanza Marvel, with wit and seductive language, portrays his strong feelings with lines such as “A hundred years should go to praise/ Thin eyes, and on thy forehead gaze” proclaiming that time does not alter his love. In the second stanza however, love is conquered by time. The decay as Death grows near with time. Death’s growth is evident in the text through the use of the lexical chain of Death, words including; marble vault”, “ashes” and “grave”. As if a desperate plea for her love in the third stanza, Marvel makes use of carper diem and ‘NOW.

    It is read as a forceful argument for sexual pleasure; “let us sport while we may’. However the poem’s tone and imagery imply more. The persona’s love is strong and opposes the universal concept of time, replacing Time’s “winged chariot”, overpowering it as they become “amorous birds of prey’. As ‘To His Coy Mistress’ was written during the Renaissance period where carper diem was such a significant phrase, Marvel uses the idea to ‘seize the day to bring out the importance of the mortal experience and reality.

    The opening lines of the first stanza “Had we but world enough, and time,] This coyness, lady, were no crime”, is a mock praise in saying that the coyness of the ‘lady would be appropriate had there been time for it. This lyric poem can be interpreted as a letter too love interest of Marvel. In this case, it can be read as a provocative message. With Marvels wit and intelligence, he sways the ‘mistress’ to live in the moment. It’s saying that there’s no need to be shy, rather you should ‘seize the day because your experiences are specially important, and there’s no time to waste.

    Continue to constantly have new experiences, stop acting coy. The tone of this poem is also bright and daring, matching the theme of carper diem. Metaphysical poetry challenges the reader’s intellect and mind, allowing them to explore concepts outside the realm of the physical. Andrew Marvel, through the use of linguistic and literary techniques in ‘The Definition of Love’ and ‘To His Coy Mistress’ drives the reader to compare ideological and theological realms of the universal concepts of Love, Fate and Time, inclusive of the idea of carper diem.

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    Metaphysical Poetry of Andrew Marvell Essay. (2018, Jan 05). Retrieved from

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