Andrew Marvell: Poems
Carpe Diem: Wooing Lovers during the Renaissance (A Close Reading of Poetry) College
Christopher Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” and Andrew Marvell’s “To his Coy Mistress” offer powerful examples of sensual, carpe diem Renaissance poetry. In both poems, the poet-speakers attempt to spur their beloveds into action through various compliments and rhythmic patterns that create a hurried tone. However, the speakers’ tactics diverge at this point. Marlowe’s poet-speaker focuses on an abstract pastoralist hypothetical peppered with innuendo in an attempt to gain his love’s affections. In contrast, Marvell’s speaker takes a much more explicit and logical approach as he bemoans the consequences of their delayed union and urges his lover to waste no time in consummating their relationship. Ultimately, both poet-speakers focus on carpe diem as a tool to persuade their perspective lovers.
Marlowe’s poet-speaker, the shepherd, sets the poem’s sensuous and rushed tone in the first two lines, saying “Come live with me and by my love / and we will all the pleasures prove” (1-2). Within these lines, the shepherd uses the imperative tense to show the direness of...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 810 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 6018 literature essays, 1697 sample college application essays, 237 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in