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 of the inevitable nature of death

When examining the poem "To ***** Coy *****" by ***** Marvell, in comparison to the ***** "When I 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 ***** the face of mortality each poet approaches this ********** in very different ways, based on the gendered ***** ***** ***** 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 the 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, ***** she was 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 *****r. *****'s alternative title for her work is "song" or a lyric voice to the poet's lover after her death, while Andrew Marvell's speaker in "To His Coy Mistress" *****vokes "Petrarchan convention, a poetic mode origin*****ting in the fourteenth century ***** which a ***** ***** uses exaggerated metaphors to appeal to his female beloved." (Ephraim, p.1)

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

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

***** wingèd chariot hurrying near;

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

Deserts of vast eternity.

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

Thy beauty shall no more be found,

Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound

My echoing song; then worms shall try

That long-preserved virginity,

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

***** into ashes all my lust:

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

But n*****, I think, do t*****e embrace.

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

Let us roll all our strength and all

Our sweetness up into one ball,

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

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

Thus, though we cannot make our sun

Stand still, yet we will make him run.

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

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