William Blake To His Coy Mistress Analysis

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In the poems ‘The Garden of Love’ by William Blake and ‘To His Coy Mistress’ by Andrew Marvell, both poets present barriers to love differently through the use of various poetic techniques denoting language and structure. Blake criticises institutionalised religion, not only emphasising its unnaturalness but also utilising the concept to frame it as a barrier to pure, unadulterated love. Marvell however, presents a barrier to love as the more structured construct of time through the juxtapositioning of the speaker’s longing desires and the imminent reality of the burdens of time. In ‘The Garden of Love’, the speaker displays his disdain to institutionalised religion as he believes in it hinders the exploration and advancement of love. In referring…show more content…
However, in amongst stark differences, there are also notable structural similarities between both poems. In ‘The Garden of Love’, Blake has used a somewhat regular rhyme scheme of ABAB for the first two stanzas and ABCD for the final stanza. This regularity is also displayed in Mavell’s poem which is written entirely in couplets. The breakdown of the rhyme scheme in Blake’s poem mirrors the disruption to the harmonious element of love displayed by the Garden in the first stanza and creates an unnatural sense of incompleteness and fear. This implies that the chapel, representing institutionalised religion, destroys all elements of nature and innate human desire. This suppressing of natural human desire is also shown in Marvell’s poem as the mistress’s “coyness” is preventing the speaker from being intimate with her. Her flirtatious reservations, paired with the advances of time, lead the speaker to form an extremely coherent, philosophical argument; this results in a logical rhyme scheme which could also be said to resemble the constant ticking of a clock. The reasoned argument is extremely fitting for the Neoclassical period it was written it as other authors of the time also delved into the importance of individual satisfaction through coherent debates. However, Blake’s poem resonates with the Romantic period which differs immensely due to the inherent desire for personal freedom which was common amongst his

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