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 fem*****le acceptance of the inevitable nature of death

When examining ***** poem "To ***** Coy *****" by Andrew Marvell, in comparison to the poem "When ***** am dead my dearest" by ***** 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 this *****me in very different ways, based on the gendered ***** ***** each author towards sexual congress and religious faith. At first, it might seem to be unfair to compare the male Cavalier poet with the Victorian member of the Oxford Movement Christina Rossetti. Marvell lived an active ***** as a court poet, soldier, ***** adventurer. Rossetti ***** a quiet and retiring life at home, as did most women of her day, ***** she w***** intim*****ely 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 **********. *****'s alternative title for her work is "song" or a lyric voice to the *****'s lover *****fter her death, while Andrew Marvell's speaker in "To His Coy Mistress" invokes "Petrarch***** convention, a poetic mode originating in the fourteenth century ***** which a m*****le lover uses exaggerated metaphors to appeal to his female beloved." (Ephraim, p.1)

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

As ***** poet states, his mind is constantly filled with thoughts of ***** impending dem*****e, and of the shortness of human life, ***** his own and his mistresses.' at my back I always hear

Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near;

And yonder all be*****e us lie

Deserts of vast eternity.

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

Thy beauty shall no more be found,

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

My echoing song; then worms shall try

Th***** long-preserved virginity,

And your quaint ho*****r turn to dust,

***** in***** a*****s all my lust:

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

But none, I think, do there embrace.

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

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

Our sweetness up into one ball,

And tear our pleasures ***** rough strife

T*****ough the iron gates of life:

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

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

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


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