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Subject: Time lays waste to youth and life passes quickly, so people should

enjoy youth now and “seize the day”

Speaker: Sophisticated and mature man
Situation: A sophisticated and mature man attempts to persuade his young
mistress to yield to his amorous advances.
Diction: The speaker’s vocabulary shifts as his argument goes through the 3
phases that make up the 3 sections of Marvell’s verse. When the reader tries to
understand the position of the listener, the poem’s occasionally difficult
language becomes simpler to comprehend. The speaker’s diction changes,
depending on whether he is trying to appeal to his lover, to flatter her, or to
persuade her.
a. –lines 5and 7-“Indian Ganges” and “Humber”
b. –lines 13, 15, and 16-“An hundred,” “Two hundred,” “thirty
Tone: “To His Coy Mistress” is a carpe diem (or “seize the day”) poem in
which the speaker tries to convince the listener to go to bed with him. As such,
we might expect the tone to be ribald, lusty, or perhaps insincere, as the
speaker will presumably say anything to argue his case. Yet the lighthearted
tone of the poem suffers from the introduction of the concept of death in the
midsection, and the overall tone is more melancholy than it would have been
a. –line 15-“Two hundred to adore each breast”
b. –lines 27, 29, and 30-“worms,” “dust,” and “ashes”
Figurative Language: Metaphor- There is more than one metaphor but the
poem is built around a central metaphor. “Time’s winged chariot,” which is
both central to the speaker’s argument and near the physical center of the
poem. The encroachment of time is vastly important to his argument, and its
nuances can only be expressed through a metaphor.
a. –line 11-“My Vegetable love”
b. -line 22-“Time’s winged chariot”
Simile-There are two similes in the poem, and the most striking thing about
them is that they both occur in the final section, in rapid succession. This is
the speaker’s most desperate hour , and he is trying to introduce his ideas in Themes:
quick bursts that are full of imagery in order to make them easily understood.
a. Time is clearly the most important issue bothering the speaker; the
At the same time, he uses the second simile to introduce an aggressive,
subject spans the entire length of the piece, from the first line to
passionate image that had been buried until this point.
the forty-sixth. The most obvious relationship to time here is that
a. -lines 33-34-“the youthful hue/ Sits on the skin like morning dew” this work is a traditional carpe diem poem, which means that it
b. –line 38—“like amorous birds of prey” encourages the listener to “seize the day”-to make most of today
Imagery: The speaker in the poem is carefully controls his imagery to and not put off action until tomorrow.
enhance his argument. There is a discernible progression from exotic and b. Love and Passion: The poem begins as a declaration of the
luxurious imagery in the first section to lifelessness in the second and to fiery speaker’s love, but, by its end it makes the assumption that the
passion in the third. The power of the imagery in the final stanza gains force woman being addressed is as passionate as the speaker.
because of the progression of imagery throughout the poem. c. Beauty: The woman’s concern for her beauty, her vanity, is the tool
that the speaker of this poem tries to use to make time’s passage a
a. –lines 6 and 12- “rubies” and “empires”
threat to her.
b. –line 16-“thirty thousand”
d. Death: The middle section of the poem, lines 21to 32, applies the
philosophical concept of time passing to the biological reality of
Sonnet 120 by William
That you were once unkind befriends me now, And for that sorrow which I
then did feel
Needs must I under my transgression bow,
Unless my nerves were brass or hammered steel. For if you were by my
unkindness shaken,
As I by yours, you've passed a hell of time,
And I, a tyrant, have no leisure taken
To weigh how once I suffered in your crime.
O that our night of woe might have rememb'red
My deepest sense, how hard true sorrow hits,
And soon to you as you to me then tendered
The humble salve which wounded bosoms fits!
But that your trespass now becomes a fee;
Mine ransoms yours, and yours must ransom me.
Modern Text
The fact that you were once cruel to me helps me now. Because of the sorrow
that you made me feel then, I would have to be made of steel not to be bowed
down to the ground with guilt over how I've hurt you. For if you've felt my
unkindness to you the way I felt yours to me, you've endured a time in hell
and I've acted like a cruel tyrant, never taking the time to think about how I
once suffered when you committed the same crime against me. Oh, how I
wish that your earlier sorrow had reminded me of how hard true sorrow hits,
so that I would have apologized to you as fast as you apologized to me, giving
you the medicine that an injured heart needs most! But your earlier offense
against me can now compensate you for what I've just done. My offense
cancels out yours, and yours must cancel out mine.
Speaker: not very emotional, but objective

Subject: irony of betrayal of love

Situation: the man tells of how his injured heart is comforted because he had
injured his lover back before.
Diction: tough and hard
Tone: sentimental, comprehensive, understood
Figurative Language:
1. “My nerves were made of brass or hammered steele” (line 4)
-saying that if I was closed minded, but evokes a better image.
2. “Passed a hell of time” (line 7)-hyperbole, comparing a
heartbreak to the pains of hell
3. “Tyrant” (line 8)—hyperbole again.
Imagery: little imagery, mostly abstract ideas
Theme: What you do comes back to you—karma

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