Timeless Persuasion Essays

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“To His Coy Mistress” written by Andrew Marvell appears to be a description of a young

man striving to seduce his mistress, however Marvell carefully uses a persona to examine the

theme of time and maintains the objections it creates and the conditions it demands on us. Time

is made convincing through the impressions of carpe diem, beauty and death. The persona

accentuates the ideas these impressions create in order to affirm the idea that time flies so we

must “seize the day”.

In the premise of the poem Marvell actualizes a picturesque scene where the young man

can concentrate on each day admiring his mistress, he strives for avoidance from time by asking

“[h]ad we but world enough, and time”(1)
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till the conversion of the Jews” (7-8,

10). The endurance of his love is communicated; this exaggeration compliments his mistress and conveys he would love her till the end of time. Therefore, this may allow her to concede to his

pursuit. And if she still refuses, his everlasting eternal love for her would continue.

The feelings for his mistress are unadulterated: “My vegetable love should grow [v]aster

than empires, and more slow” (11-12). The comparison of his love to vegetables signifies his

love is passive and solid, it is undeniable. His exhibition of affection and admiration will

continue to build; his feelings will continue growing until his true love for her becomes this huge progression of lust and craving for her. In addition to acknowledging her inner essence the young man goes on to state amplified scales of time he would waste absorbing her beauty, but he makes it precise “... the last age should show your heart” (18). He would continue with the compliments in hopes of getting her to succumb to him, which is ultimately the young man’s goal. Since time

is precious in life, it is not feasible for him to really appreciate her as he desires, but by

communicating the message of time through upholding the lover the point is made: Since he

cannot admire her, until the end of time, then the occasion should be seized

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