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

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

***** ***** contrast ***** Rossetti, Marvell begs his beloved to engage in a tryst with him bec*****use of 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 with thoughts of ***** impending demise, and of the shortness of human life, both his own and his mistresses.' at my back ***** always hear

Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near;

And yonder all before us lie

Deserts of vast eternity.

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

Thy beauty shall no more be found,

Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound

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

Th***** long-preserved virginity,

And your quaint honor turn to dust,

***** into ashes all my lust:

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

But none, I think, do there embrace.

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

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

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

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

***** the iron gates of life:

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

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

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


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