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The Flea Vs To His Coy Mistress Essay, Research Paper
Seduction has been the game most played through out the centuries, as males
attempt to convince and invite females into their beds. In Marvell’s “To His Coy
Mistress” and Donne’s “The Flea”, the speakers, propose a peccadilloes offer, which is so
cunningly backed up by a liberalistic argument and is presented to each female when
the generous request has been declined. These arguments are designed to induce thoughts of a
carnal nature. The persuasions used by each are completely different but are structured entirely
for one purpose. To corner or trick the maiden into saying “Yes”. Though both arguements are
supurb, Marvell’s has a nicer, refined style to it.
In “To His Coy Mistress” and “The Flea”, there is an exemplification of just how
crafty men can be during the hunt. The speakers, in both poems, makes a “modest” but
declinable offer for sex to their maiden of choice. And, upon rejection, each male begins a
fluent yet rhetoric arguments on why the maiden should accept his simple offer of
passion. For Marvell, the argument was that there wasn’t enough time left in the world,
and that the maiden should partake in indulgence before it is too late.” But at my back I
always hear/ Times winged Charriot hurrying near”(lines 21-22). He also states the
unpleasuarble thought of the worms enjoying her verginity instead of him. Suggesting
that if she continues to waste time she will die a virgin. “then Worms shall try/ that long
preserv’d Virginity:”(lines 27-28). Whereas Donne’s argument revolves around a
metaphorical flea. Which as claimed by the speaker, represents his union with the
maiden in matrimony, since the flea has taken blood from them both.”It suck’d me first
and now sucks thee/And in this flea our two bloods mingled be”(lines 3-4). And, since
their bloods have already mingled together, intercourse with him wouldn’t be a sin and no
honor would be lost if she yields to him.”Though know’st that this cannot be said/A sin
nor shame nor loss of maidenhood:” (lines 5-6)
Though however similar the gist of the poems might be, the art of seduction used
by each speaker is quite different. The speaker in “To His Coy Mistress” seems to change
his tone of persuasion rapidly from stanza to stanza. At first he is sweet, comming across
as a gentleman and overstating how many ages he would spent on a single part of her
anatomy “A hundred years should go to praise/Thine Eyes…./Two hundred to adore each
breast” (lines14-15). Then he dramatically changes to say that the worms will take her in
her grave and that she will loose her beauty and die. In “The Flea”, the speaker tries to convince
the maiden that they are one, since the flea has sucked both their blood and if she were to kill
the flea, she would commit three sins by taking three lives, refering to his, hers, and the
flea.”And sacrilege three sins in killing three”(line18). This speaker is however quick on his feet
and very slick. The maiden kills the flea, proving his convivtions to be false. He responds
however, by telling her that she suffers from false fears, because if she looses her
virginity to him, she still has her honor. “Just so much honor when thou yield’st to
me/Will waste as this fleas death took life from thee”(lines 26-27).
These two unique poems containing their differences but over all more
similarities are entertaining pieces for any reader to view and listen to the cunning speaker
attempting to get his maiden.
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