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 ***** the inevitable nature of death

When examining the poem "To ***** Coy Mistress" by ***** Marvell, in comparison to the ***** "When I am dead my *****" by Christiana Rossetti one can see that, although both explore a similar theme of the transience ***** 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 ***** ***** ***** 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 the Oxford Movement Christina Rossetti. Marvell lived an active ***** as a court *****, soldier, ***** adventurer. Rossetti lived a quiet and retiring life at home, as did most women of her day, ***** she was intimately involved in the pre-Raphaelite movement spearheaded by her brot*****, 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 *****" *****vokes "Petrarch***** convention, a poetic mode origin*****ting in the fourteenth century ***** which a ***** ***** uses ex*****ggerated metaphors to appeal ***** his female beloved." (Ephraim, p.1)

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

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

Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near;

And yonder *****l 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 *****; then worms shall try

***** long-preserved virginity,

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

And into ashes all my lust:

The grave's a fine and private place,

But n*****, I thi*****k, do t*****e embrace.

***** contrast, Rossetti begins her poem with these lines. "When I am dead my dearest, sing no sad songs for me." *****n contrast to the masculine speaker ***** Marvell's poem, ***** accepts death ***** how death ends love and human 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 with rough strife

Thorough ***** 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 *****'s lovers,


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