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The Topic of Carpe Diem in The Flea by John Donne and to His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell

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The two love poems, “The Flea” by John Donne and “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell were written from the 1600s with the mutual objective to court their respective women. In Donne’s “The Flea,” the poet demonstrates his attempt to charm his woman by persuading her that they have previously engaged in sexual intercourse through an insect (the flea). The insect had bitten them both, consequently blending both of their blood and invigorating the demonstration of sex inside his body (perhaps, this was science’s comprehension of ‘sex’ during this time). In Marvell’s ‘To His Coy Mistress,’ he utilizes time as an apparatus in his quest for sentimental commitment. Time is his weapon in persuading his woman that they should share their adoration now, while they are both youthful and alluring. While Donne’s approach to persuading the lady varies essentially from Marvell’s, both poems have a similar point and endeavor to accomplish their mutual objective using exemplification, diction and structure in the body of the poems. The common subject, carpe diem (Latin for: seize the day), is the central contention for the two poems, just as their most imperative resemblance.

Firstly, the two poems use exemplification fundamentally as an approach to make distinctive symbolism and convince the reader to grasp the subject carpe diem to accomplish their objective. In Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress,” he exemplifies a time trying to court his woman. He composes lines loaded up with generous symbolism to express what is on his mind to the reader. For example, he expresses, “But at my back I always hear Time’s winged chariot hurrying near”. This statement is a sharp case of the utilization of personification in Marvell’s poem and serves to draw in the reader’s feeling of sound to make a distinctive and luring picture. Donne’s sonnet ‘The Flea” utilizes the equivalent abstract apparatus in his piece, in any case, he exemplifies an insect, which has bitten both the speaker and his would-be-sweetheart, as opposed to time. For instance, he states, “This flea is you and I, and this Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is”. By saying that the flea is not only an ‘insect,’ yet, in addition, their marriage bed, Donne has viably utilized embodiment in his poem as a device to win his contention. While Donne exemplifies an insect and Marvell represents time, both are effective in utilizing this artistic instrument in their carpe diem poems.

Secondly, the diction or style, of a poem uncovers what is imperative to the author and establishes the pace and state of mind of the said poem. In Donne’s poem, “The Flea,” the author communicated his affection with a concise poem, featuring precisely what he felt was important to push ahead with his objective. Marvell’s poem is somewhat more, yet at the same time brief enough that word decision is a significant apparatus to remember. In the two poems, the word decision serves to establish the pace as well as to convince the reader. A case of this is found in the initial two lines of Donne’s poem: “Mark but this flea, and mark in this/How little that which thou deniest me is;”. This is a genuine case of expression because, in the first lines of the poem, the poet is as of now attempting to persuade the reader that the demonstration of sex is about as immaterial in size as an insect. The author quickly catches the reader’s consideration and has set out his contention with a handful of words. Marvell also seems to be an expert at word decision; by talking about time in a romanticized way, the speaker plants his seed in the reader’s psyche: “An hundred years should go to praise/Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;/Two hundred to adore each breast, But thirty thousand to the rest”. This statement is a case of Marvell’s aptitudes as an author. Picking his words cautiously, the speaker charms the reader by adulating them and saying that their excellence is deserving of love for not one lifetime, however for a great many years. He at that point continues to stun his reader by saying that time is brief, and they do not have an unfathomable length of time for him to revere her, as just a lady as wonderful as she merits. By deciding to initially say charming words regarding overstated love and worship, Marvell tempts his reader enough to then flip his tone, seen through the accompanying word decision: “ then worms shall try That long-preserved virginity”. In this line the poet is telling the reader that if they wait any longer to participate in sexual relations then they will eventually die a virgin only to have the worms eat away at her and her maidenhead. This is a dull and, in any event, upsetting picture; nonetheless it serves its purpose to stun the reader into concurring with the poet and his lewd wishes. Marvell and Donne both did a marvelous job of selecting the perfect words at the perfect moment to persuade their respective women to seize the day and make love.

Lastly, the form (the most underestimated scholarly apparatus) establishes the tone of the poem and aids in the reader’s response and translation. Utilizing rhyming couplets, Donne and Marvell both set speedy-paced poems, shielding the reader from having a minute to think about a counter-contention. It additionally serves the speakers’ contentions to utilize rhyming couplets, as they are related with fancy love sonnets or poems; like Shakespeare’s work, for instance. The two poems are fundamentally comparative with regards to their structure, each comprising of three stanzas. One conspicuous distinction in the structure, be that as it may, is the rhyme conspires in either poem. Donne’s rhyme plan is for every stanza, while Marvell’s is , etc. for every stanza. Both are set up in three-section contentions: first, enamor the reader, then alarm the reader into holding onto your thought as their own, and closing with a Carpe diem subject gives the reader a sentiment of strengthening an opportunity. Thus, the lines ‘Tis true; then learn how false fears be” from Donne’s poem and “Thus, though, we can’t make our sun/Stand still, yet we will make him run” from Marvell’s poem both express subjects of holding onto the day and not agonizing over tomorrow. Donne’s line is telling the reader that both of their feelings of trepidation are nonexistent. In contrast to Marvell’s, he is urging the poet to beat the sun (or time) with him. This effectively influences the reader for the speakers, just as in their separate armies.

In conclusion, both poems “The Flea” and “To His Coy Mistress” share comparative characteristics; predominantly. The convincing and charming topic of carpe diem, otherwise known as ‘seizing the day.’ The two love poems deliberately, yet impractically, express their contentions through basic artistic apparatuses, for example, those examined prior. We can see this through the exemplification of an insect just as time, just as deliberately picked expression or language inside the body of the poems. At last, the form and structure of the poem, which manages things like the pace of the poem. While these strategies may appear to be overstated to the modern reader, the poems are as yet regarded as effective. The two poets demonstrate to be gifted in the specialty of deliberately romancing their accomplices. In truth, these poems show how the correct utilization of fundamental abstract instruments matched with an enabling subject, as Carpe diem, can rouse any author to romanticize an honestly determined contention.

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The Topic Of Carpe Diem In The Flea By John Donne And To His Coy Mistress By Andrew Marvell. (2021, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from
“The Topic Of Carpe Diem In The Flea By John Donne And To His Coy Mistress By Andrew Marvell.” GradesFixer, 14 May 2021,
The Topic Of Carpe Diem In The Flea By John Donne And To His Coy Mistress By Andrew Marvell. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 Oct. 2021].
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