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The Concept of Carpe Diem in Marvell’s to His Coy Mistress and Herrick’s to The Virgins, to Make Much of Time

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“To His Coy Mistress” was written by Andrew Marvell, an English poet and satirist in the 1650s. The poem is a well organized poem that has 46 lines formed into a single stanza, split into three sections. “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” is written by Robert Herrick, it was published as number 208 in 1648 in a volume of verse Hesperides, it may be one of the most famous poems to praise the conception of Carpe diem. It has 16 lines and is structured into four stanzas. Both these poems represent the Carpe diem theme. Carpe diem is Latin for “seize the day”. The theme may be summarized as: “Time is fleeting, so act decisively to enjoy yourself” or “Make most of the present time, put very little trust in tomorrow”. It was popular in love poems of the 16th and 17th century where a male speaker usually tries to convince a female to grasp the opportunity for love.

The poem “To His Coy Mistress” is about the efforts of a man towards insisting on his lover’s affection; the unnamed “coy mistress” refuses to sleep with the gentleman in question, and the gentleman’s reaction is to tell her that, had he sufficient time, he may want to spend entire centuries admiring her beauty and her innocence; however, human life is short, he does not have this time, and so they should enjoy each other now while they still have the time, as no-one in loss of life can embody or sense pleasure. Through loving one another, they could make the maximum of their short time on earth, and as a consequence make something of themselves on earth. “To His Coy Mistress” celebrates beauty, youth and sexual pleasure. It uses the concept of Carpe diem because in spite or the fact that he envisions a lavishly moderate love that takes a few years to arrive at fulfillment, he realizes a wonder such as this is inconceivable: he will die before it tends to be accomplished. Death can’t be deferred or defeated; The main reaction to death, as indicated by the speaker, is to enjoy as much as one could before it comes. He encourages the lady he adores not to pause, to appreciate the joys of existence without restriction. The speaker issues the matter of the speeding of time and necessity to intensify the pleasures of mortal life.

“To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time” starts with the speaker expressing that a lady ought to do all that she can while she is youthful to exploit the adoration others will want to give her. She will be progressively valued while she is youthful and wonderful. Consequently, she should “Gather ye rose-buds while ye may” or the things in life she needs before time dominates. Once “Time” has marked her, she will be lost to the upbeat conceivable outcomes of life. In the last segments the speaker straightforwardly tells his female audience members that they have to wed at the earliest opportunity. There is no time to squander being demure as one will wind up alone. In the poem, the speaker urges virgins to seize the day and to exploit their youth. He reveals to them that, similar to the rose, their beauty and youth is temporary, and they ought to profit by it while they can. The speaker expresses Carpe Diem when he cautions the virgins that time will walk on whether they need it to or not, so they should appreciate the finest periods of their lives. Marvell, the author of “To His Coy Mistress” approaches the Carpe diem theme with a mix of whimsical fancy and passionate urgency. Herrick “To The Virgins, To Make Much Of time” delivers a more traditional version of the theme, using familiar imagery to depict the passing seasons.

To conclude, “To His Coy Mistress” conveys the concepts of Carpe diem effectively. Using the theme, time, he persuades his mistress that she should seize the opportunity of having sensual relations with him. “Now therefore, while the youthful hue/sits on thy skin like morning dew, And while thy willing soul transpires/ At every pore with instant fires, now let us sport us while we may”. To justify his argument, he states if she doesn’t indulge in sensual enjoyment she will eventually die a virgin and worms will be the ones to take “that long- preserved” virginity”. “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” portrays the similar concept, the speaker sees time damaging to women and that women should do everything they can while their looks and beauty are still young. He expresses that it’s within the period of youth a woman is most precious. It is that amount of time she ought to profit of.

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