"To His Coy Mistress" is a seventeenth-century poem displaying a man's love for a nameless woman. The man is on a mission for the woman's virginity. Andrew Marvel's "To His Coy Mistress" has the persuasiveness of a sales representative. Sales representatives not only persuade customers with words but images of their products as well. However, the poem is unrelated to money, and more about seizing the day. Descriptive imagery is used to explain the theme in greater detail, although physical details of the man are not included in the poem. Marvell expresses the poem's theme, Carpe Diem through symbolic images.
For a start, the man tries to convince her that she is the problem maker. The poem begins, "Had we but world enough, and time this coyness, Lady, were no crime"(1-2) as though he was a victim of her reserved nature. Against her will, he uses reverse psychology to make her think that it is her fault for their nonexistent sex lives. Then, he implies that he would indeed love her "Till the conversion of the Jews," (10), but the narrator never directly says "forever." Instead, he uses phrases that conjure images of eternity: "ten years before the Flood (8); "An age to every part"(17). Marvell's descriptive use of imagery explains the man's mindset. He understands that time has passed, but he would not like to miss another opportunity. .
Moving on, Marvell describes that he truly loves the woman, and wants her. For example, he says, "My vegetable love should grow" (11) basically appealing to her. By saying this, he is trying to explain that his love is like a seed, which then grows to become a flower. The man may seem to adore this woman, but he is adamantly interested in winning her virginity as well. To illustrate, he says, "And tear our pleasures with rough strifeThorough the iron gates of life" (43-44) indicating that he believes sex is the route to another world.