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Marvell's"To His Coy Mistress"

             In Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress," the 'carpe diem" theme is stressed throughout the poem and it is divided into three segments. Carpe diem is Latin for "seize the day" and urges someone to take advantage of present opportunities (usually of love) in view of time's rapid passage. In the poem, time is personified as a very evil and malicious character. The speaker is in pursuit of a woman who seems uncertain about embracing a relationship with him. He explains that time is a grim burden and if they do not seize the opportunity while they are young, time will catch up with them and their lives will be over before they know it. The speaker then goes on to argue that if they are together, they will triumph over time's effort to capture them. Marvell presents the steps of his argument in each section and simultaneously depicts time in various ways.
             In the first segment of the poem, the speaker's aspirations are revealed if time were infinite. Here, the speaker expresses his desires for him and the addressee: "Had we but enough time/this coyness, lady, were no crime" (lines 1-2). The speaker, using the words, "had we," expresses his desire for more time to pursue the woman. All of the statements are in the subjunctive mood, asserting the wish aspect of the first stanza. The speaker uses the expression "vegetable love" (line 11) to imply that his love will not increase or grow, so to speak, without the nurture of the woman. The speaker in the first few lines makes the declaration that if they had an infinite amount of time the mistress could be as coy as she wished. The first stanza is quite longer than the other two providing the implication that his desires are infinite. In this segment, time causes the speaker to be anxious and to hasten the lady to make a decision. In other words, if time were not such a burden the lady would have "until the conversion of the Jews" (line 10), i.

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