Poem Analyst Essay

760 words - 4 pages

Everyone grows old, right? The poems To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick and To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell both have messages about life, time, and how they interact. Through their differences in tone, imagery and exquisite word choice, the two authors achieve virtually the same idea two different ways.
To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time is addressed to a group of younger males who have not yet married. “The age is best, yet the first” shows that Herrick is not talking to a bunch of old people. He knows they still have time left in their lives to do something. Herrick urges young people to not be “coy” and use the time you have. A “flower that smiles today, Tomorrow will be dying” is one of the images Herrick uses to show his point. The image of “The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, The higher he’s a-getting,...And nearer he’s to setting” is used in the same way, to demonstrate that everything dies sometime and it might ...view middle of the document...

He also says IF there was more time “hundred years should go to praise,” meaning he could spend a lifetime adoring her. “But at my back I always hear Time’s winged chariot hurrying by,” saying they don’t have all that time. He also takes it a step farther by saying that worms will try to take her virginity if she dies a virgin. In the third and final stanza Marvell calms down by saying “now let us sport as we may,” which is like saying, so you in?
The tone in the two pieces are very different. To the Virgins has a tone that seems urging almost to the point of bossy. “Then not be coy, but use your time” is an example of this tone because he is not asking them, he is telling them not to waste their time. But then again with his word usage he eases up at times by using words like “glorious” and “smiles” which will make a person think positively. To His Coy Mistress uses a hyperbolic tone in the beginning because of the exaggerations. He uses exaggerations like “I would love you ten years before the Flood” which isn't possible. Then it turns to serious when he talks about the “marble vault” in which he is referring to the grave. The speaker uses this scare tactic as a way to get the woman running to him because it doesn't do anybody a favor dying a virgin according to him, “And your quaint honor turn to dust, And into ashes all my lust.”
Andrew Marvell’s To His Coy Mistress and Robert Herrick’s To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time both use changes in tone and different images to achieve their messages. It is a valid argument for Herrick because as a priest he didn't have the chance to marry so he is urging people to find their passion early so they can make the most of their time. The major theme in Marvell’s poem also has to do with time in the respect that he wants to control it and the way he thought of doing that was through getting a girl into bed with him. I think both of these poems bring time into perspective in their own way. Marvell does it by saying use the most of your time, which everyone should do. Herrick wants to control time in an unusual way. Most people don't think of controlling time by getting a lady into bed but if that is what he wants then go for it, I wouldn't do it that way.

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