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 ***** poem "To ***** Coy Mistress" by ***** Marvell, in comparison to the ***** "When I am dead my *****" 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 theme in very different ways, based on the gendered approaches ***** each author towards sexual c*****gress and religious faith. At first, it might seem to be unfair ***** compare the male Cavalier poet with the Victorian member of the Oxford Movement Christina Rossetti. Marvell lived an active ***** as a court *****, soldier, ***** adventurer. ***** ***** 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 of apostrophes or addresses in the mind of the poet, to an absent **********. *****'s alternative title for her work is "song" or a lyric voice to the *****'s lover *****fter her *****, while Andrew Marvell's speaker in "To His Coy *****" invokes "Petrarchan convention, a poetic mode originating in the fourteenth century in which a ***** lover uses ex*****ggerated 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 ***** 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 sh*****tness of ***** life, ***** his own and his mistresses.' at my back I always hear

***** wingèd chariot hurrying near;

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

Deserts of vast eternity.

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

Thy beauty shall no more be found,

Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound

My echoing song; then worms shall try

********** long-preserved virginity,

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

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

The grave's a fine and private place,

But none, I think, do there embrace.

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

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

Our sweetness up into one ball,

And tear our pleasures ***** rough strife

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

Th*****, though we can*****t 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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