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To His Coy Mistress. Andrew Marvell. Presented by: Sarah Beaty & Fidela Gutierrez . Title. To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell. Coy: (carpe diem) meaning “seize the day”.

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to his coy mistress

To His Coy Mistress

Andrew Marvell

Presented by:

Sarah Beaty & Fidela Gutierrez

  • To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell

Coy: (carpe diem) meaning “seize the day”

“His”-author perhaps looked over the shoulder of the young man who is declaring his love for the lady. This might be a letter or he is thoughts and feelings displayed on paper. The author is talking about one man and one lady.

Just another name for “sweetheart” or “lover”.

  • The poem starts off sweet and romantic.
  • The young man declares his love for the young lady.
  • The man talks about having all the time in the world to spend together.
  • The poem then makes a transition from a romantic mood towards a sexual mood.
  • He doesn’t want to wait until they grow old and run out of time.
  • He goes from loving her forever to saying no time is left and they shall make love promptly.
  • This is a seducing poem. He wants her to “seize the day” or she will regret it when she is dead.
  • Ayoung man’s declarations of love for a young lady. He says, for youth passes swiftly. He and the lady must take advantage of the moment. But they do not have the luxury of time. Before they know it, their youth will be gone; there will be only the grave. And so, the poet pleads his case: Seize the day.
  •  It is presented explicitly.
who where
  • Speaker in the poem:

Young man who is trying to convince the young lady to stop playing hard to get and accept his love. He is impatient, selfish, and immature.

  • Who is the speaker addressing?

The flirtatious woman

  • Setting:

Northeastern England near the River Humber .

17th Century

Line7: “Of Humber would complain, I would”

symbolic meanings
Symbolic meanings
  • Line 8: “Love you ten years before the flood,”

--he would love her since ever

  • Line 10: “Till the conversion of the Jews.”

--tells her that he would love and praise her during a very long time before getting into any kind of sexually intercourse with her.

  • Lines 19-20: “For, lady, you deserve this state,Nor would I love at lower rate.”

--appears the most dramatic shift. Sexually speaking , he is committed to the conquest, a conquest that can only come about as a result of him fully satisfying her; and, no doubt it is his goal to satisfy her.

symbolic meanings1
Symbolic Meanings
  • Line 33: “Now, therefore, while the youthful hue”

--they should enjoy the pleasure of each other while they are young.

  • Lines 41-46: “Let us roll all our strength and allOur sweetness up into one ball,And tear our pleasures with rough strifeThorough the iron gates of life :Thus, though we cannot make our sunStand still, yet we will make him run.”

--The sun represents time.

--The last line states that they can make whatever they want out of life.


Line 11: “My vegetable love should grow”

--compares love to a vegetable. A vegetable take time to grow and so does love.


Line 38-39: “And now, like amorous birds of prey,

Rather at once our time devour,”

--the author uses this metaphor, so the young man can attempt to get laid. (Their pouncing on each other.)

  • Lines 33-34:

“Now therefore, while the youthful hue

Sits on thy skin like morning dew,”

--This simile is meant to make the situation clear to the reader.

  • Line 8: “love you ten years before the Flood,”
  • Line 13: “an hundred years should go to praise,”
  • Line 15: “two hundred to adore each beast, but thirty thousand to the rest”
  • --These phrases show the amount of time the couple might have.
  • --That he will love and praise her before getting into any kind of sexual intercourse.
  • --The man uses these phrases to show his “love” for the woman. He says if they had eternity, then he would love her forever.
  • Line 22: “Time’s winged chariot hurrying near;”
  • --time waits for no man.
  • Lines 27-32: “My echoing song: then worms shall tryThat long-preserved virginity,

And you quaint honor turn to dust,And into ashes all my lust :The grave's a fine and private place,But none, I think, do there embrace.

  • --He pressures her with dire warnings of what time will do to them. He imagines being dead and lying in a grave with worms everywhere. Their bodies “turn to dust” and “into ashes all my lust”. He is in a sense warning her too return his mortal love or face having never loved before she dies and turns to dust.
  • Line 37: “Now let us sport us while we may,”

--let us make love.

  • Line 3: “We would sit down and think which way”
  • Line 4: “To walk and pass our long love’s day.”

--This alliteration adds to the speaker’s playfulness. He is trying to woo his lover.

  • Line 16: “But thirty thousand to the rest;”
  • Line 17: “And the last age should show your heart”
  • The speaker is showing off to his lover here, trying to hold her attention just before his argument shifts into its next phase.
  • Line 45: “Thus though we cannot make our sun”
  • Line 46: “Stand still, yet we will make him run”

--meant to impress the listener.

  • Lines 45-46:

“Thus though we cannot make our sun

Stand still, yet we will make him run.”

  • The sun represents time. They will make their own time, because they can not live forever.
authors biography
Authors Biography
  • Andrew Marvell was born in Winestead, South Yorkshire, England on March 31, 1621. His father was a minister. In 1639, a year after his mother died, Marvell received a bachelor’s degree from Cambridge University’s Trinity College. Then on 1640, his father died. So therefore between 1642-1646, Marvell travelled in continental Europe. In 1651, he accepted a position at Nun Appleton, Yorkshire. While he was at Nun Appleton, that is when he wrote several of his most acclaimed poems. Including “To His Coy Mistress”, "On Blood's Stealing the Crown", and “The Green Garden”. Then in the 20th century, critics began to acknowledge his as an outstanding poet of his time and to acclaim “To His Coy Mistress” as a truly great poem.
  • “To His Coy Mistress” was written in the 17th century.