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Reading Response to "To His Coy Mistress"

Updated on October 4, 2013

Plagiarism is bad!

Please use this as an example only. I'm posting my personal reading responses because I've met so many people, even in college, that don't know how to write them. There are many different kinds of reading responses; this is one version.

Not sure if this is the origination but it is where I found it.
Not sure if this is the origination but it is where I found it. | Source

This Won’t Last, Neither Will my Love

In “To His Coy Mistress” (written by Andrew Marvell), the speaker speaks directly to someone. He tells her that if they could both live forever that it would be okay for her to be shy. She could prolong their union for as long as she wanted because he would love her forever. Then he tells her that they do not have forever. He says she cannot be shy with their love or else she will die a virgin. He finishes by telling her that dying a virgin is useless and they should have sex as soon as possible.

He seems to use the second stanza to make the girl’s fantasies of eternal love fall apart. It’s like he’s trying to negate his recent pledge to love her forever. First, he opens with a dark foreboding mention of death: “At my back I always hear/ Time's wingèd chariot [is] hurrying near” (line 21-22) to carry his soul to another place. By looking at his use of different rhyme scheme, we can see this same crumbling of imagery.

Throughout the entire first stanza, he keeps a very strict adherence to an A-A-B-B type of rhyme scheme. In the second stanza, he changes it up with an A-A-B-C-D-D-B-C type of rhyme scheme. Starting with the same familiar rhyme scheme is like trying to keep up that perfect image, but as we read on, we see that the rhyme scheme is crumbling along with the image of everlasting love. At one point or another it comes back, but only to leave again. Finally, he tells her things that no lover would ever want to hear. For example: “Thy beauty shall no more be found” (25) While she may get ugly with age, saying it further degrades that concept of ageless love that he established in the first stanza.

© 2012 info-overload

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