To His Coy Mistress Summary and Analysis

To His Coy Mistress is a famous poem by British poet Andrew Marvell. The poem was probably written in 1650. But it was published after the poet’s death i.e. after 1680. This poem is written on the Carpe Diem theory, enjoying the present without worrying about the future. Andrew Marvell wrote the poem in imitation of the Roman poet Horace. Here the poet or speaker urges his lover to enjoy life to the fullest before death comes. It is basically a love poem and the poet’s mischievous desire to get closer to his lover.

Themes of To His Coy Mistress

Love and Death

To His Coy Mistress Summary

One, the description of the poet’s preoccupation and the form of the lover: At the very beginning of the poem we see the poet’s busyness or urgency. He tells his lover that if they had been in this world for a long time, they would have planned better how to spend the time. His lover may have walked along the banks of the Ganges River in India and collected pearls. And poets used to walk along the banks of the Humber River in England and write poems in its praise. There was no problem if the lover rejected him as many times as he wanted. The poet did not complain.

Had there been more time, the poet would have spent hundreds of years admiring every part of his lover’s body. The poet would spend two hundred years describing her eyes. Then it took more than a hundred years to describe her forehead. The poet would spend a hundred years admiring each of his lover’s breasts. Also, the poet would spend thirty thousand years admiring other parts of his lover’s body. Yet his praise was endless.

Finally, the lover responded to the poet’s call for love. The poet also asserts that his lover deserves just such praise.

Two, transitory life/death: Now the poet reminds his lover about reality. The poet says one day this beauty of his lover will be lost. Then the poet’s songs sung in his praise will no longer be heard. The virginity that the poet’s lover has kept her safe will no longer exist. That virginity will be mixed in the soil of the grave. And the poet’s wishes for his lover will turn to ashes. A grave is a place where lovers cannot engage in physical intercourse.

However, through these words in the poem, the poet is motivating his lover to have a physical relationship.

Three, the call: In the last stanza we see the poet’s strong erotic aspirations. Now he urges his lover to enjoy each other before time runs out. He said, they should fulfill their physical needs and utilize their time with all the energy and emotions of the body.

Ruhul Amin
Ruhul Amin

This is Ruhul Amin, working and researching for English literature to make it discovered and available to the world.

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