Essay - Gender Criticism of Poetry: to His Coy Mistress' by Andrew...


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Gender Criticism of Poetry:

To his Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell versus "When I am dead my dearest" by Christiana Rossetti—A masculine defiance of mortality through sexuality, a female acceptance ***** the inevitable nature of death

When examining the poem "To his Coy Mistress" by ***** Marvell, in comparison to the poem "When ***** am ***** my *****" by Christiana Rossetti one can see that, although both explore a similar theme of the transience of human sexual life and physical, romantic love in the face of mortality each poet approaches t***** theme in very different ways, based on the gendered ***** ***** each author *****wards sexual c*****gress and religious faith. At first, it might *****m to be unfair to compare the male Cavalier poet with the Victorian member of ***** Oxford Movement Christina Rossetti. Marvell lived an active life as a court *****, soldier, and adventurer. Rossetti ***** a quiet and retiring life at home, ***** did most women of her day, ***** she was intimately involved in the pre-Raphaelite movement spearheaded by her brother, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. (Marsh, 1995)

However, both poems take the form ***** apostrophes or addresses in the mind of ***** poet, to an absent lover. *****'s alternative title for her work is "song" or a lyric voice to the *****'s lover after her *****, while Andrew Marvell's speaker in "To His Coy Mistress" *****vokes "Petrarchan convention, a poetic mode originating in ***** fourteenth century in which a m*****le lover uses exaggerated metaphors to appeal to his female beloved." (Ephraim, p.1)

Yet in contrast to Rossetti, Marvell begs his beloved to engage in a tryst with him because ***** the transient ***** of human life. Through *****ity, Marvell states, ***** beings may avoid or at least may defy death.

***** the poet states, his mind is constantly filled ***** thoughts of his impending demise, and of the sh*****tness ***** human life, ***** his own and his mistresses.' at my back I al***** hear

Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near;

And yonder *****l before us lie

Deserts of vast eternity.

***** poem's ***** famous lines are:

Thy beauty shall no more be found,

*****, in thy marble vault, shall sound

My echoing *****; then worms shall try

Th***** long-preserved virginity,

And your quaint honor turn to dust,

***** in***** ashes all my lust:

***** grave's a fine ********** private place,

But n*****, I thi*****k, do there embrace.

***** *****, Rossetti *****gins her poem with these lines. "When I am dead ***** dearest, sing no sad songs for me." *****n contrast to the masculine speaker ***** ********** poem, ***** accepts death and how death ends love and human physical desire, rather than desiring to, as Marvell does:

Let us roll all our strength ***** all

Our sweetness up into one b*****,

And tear our ple*****ures ***** rough strife

Tho***** the iron gates of life:

**********, though we cannot make our sun

Stand still, yet ***** will make him run.

In comparing these two apostrophic poems to the poet's lovers,

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