His Coy Mistress

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Andrew Marvell’s poem To His Coy Mistress falls under the genre of carpe diem because the speaker bases his reasoning for his need to sleep with her on their mortality. The speaker appeals to his mistress’s sense of devoutness by exploiting religious connotations of the words he chooses while simultaneously associating them with their limited time. The speaker takes advantage of religious phrasing to persuade his audience, his lover, to sleep with him. The narrator constructs an antediluvian timeframe to illustrate and exaggerate his devotion to his mistress. The narrator claims he would express his love for his mistress “ten years before the Flood” (8) if he had the opportunity. This reference to the biblical flood shows how long he is willing …show more content…

The narrator makes it a point to express that she has a “long preserved virginity” (28), in which he is addressing the idea that women should remain chaste until marriage. Each word in this phrase carries a strong connotation that the speaker takes advantage of. The narrator stresses the amount of time his lover preserved her virginity to illustrate the amount of time that goes wasted following these ideals. The word “long” is associated with dragging out an event unnecessarily, just as the narrator claims his mistress is doing. “Preserved” connotes an idea of something locked away, hidden. The narrator treats her virginity as the object hidden away and far from reach. The intent behind the use of this word is that he is depicting his lover as saving her virginity, possibly for marriage. “Long” adds to this scenario by making it seem as though she is elongating the time necessary to accomplish her feat. “Preserved” implies a measurable amount of wait time. It would be almost redundant to include “long” to describe the extent to which she wants to save her

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