Was born in Winestead, South Yorkshire, England, on March 31, 1621. His father was a minister. The family moved to Hull, in the county of Humberside, when Andrew was three. There, he grew up and attended school. In 1639, a year after his mother died, Marvell received a bachelor's degree from Cambridge University's Trinity College. His father died in 1640. Between 1642 and 1646, Marvell traveled in continental Europe, visiting France, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and Italy.
In 1651, he accepted a position at Nun Appleton, Yorkshire, as tutor to 12-year-old Mary Fairfax, the daughter Sir Thomas Fairfax, commander of the Parliamentary army in the 1640's during the English Civil Wars. Marvell remained in that position until 1652. While at Nun Appleton, he wrote several of his most acclaimed poems, including "To His Coy Mistress" and "The Garden." Between 1653 and 1657, he served as a tutor to a ward of Oliver Cromwell, the lord protector of England, Ireland, and Scotland during the Commonwealth period (1653-1658).
Marvell had praised Cromwell in a 1650 poem, "An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland." In 1657, Marvell served under the great scholar and poet John Milton in the foreign office and in 1659 was elected to Parliament to represent Hull. Marvell was best known during his lifetime for his political achievements and his political satires in prose and verse. His best poetry was published in Miscellaneous Poems 1681 from a manuscript his housekeeper found while going through his belongings shortly after his death in 1678.
Often dismissed for his lewdness, Marvell didn't become very popular until T. S. Eliot wrote an essay praising him for his ability to shift between high seriousness and humor. Eliot presents several allusions to the poem in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."
Startling comparisons or contrasts of a metaphysical (spiritual, transcendent, abstract) quality to a concrete (physical, tangible, sensible) object. Marvell compares love to a vegetable (line 11) in humorous metaphor Mockery of idealized romantic poetry through crude or shocking imagery lines 27 and 28 "then worms shall try / That long preserved virginity Gross exaggeration (hyperbole) line 15 "two hundred [years] to adore each breast
Expression of personal, private feelings. those the young man expresses throughout the poem Presentation of a logical argument, or syllogism. In "To His Coy Mistress," this argument may be outlined as follows: (1) We could spend decades or even centuries in courtship if time stood still and we remained young. (2) But time passes swiftly and relentlessly. (3) Therefore, we must enjoy the pleasure of each other now, without further ado. The conclusion of the argument begins at Line 33 with "Now therefore." http://www.eaglesweb.com/Sub_Pages/marvell_poems.htm
presents a familiar theme in literature -- carpe diem The young man is impatient, desperately so, unwilling to tolerate temporizing on the part of the young lady. He and the lady must take advantage of the moment sport us while we may His motivation appears to be carnal desire rather than true love; passion rules him. Consequently, one may describe him as immature and selfish.
The word "coy" tells the reader that the lady is no easy catch Evasiveness, hesitancy, modesty, coquetry, reluctance; playing hard to get The word "mistress" can mean lady, manager, caretaker, courtesan, sweetheart, lover
If they had world enough, and time they would spend their days in idle pursuits, leisurely passing time while the young man heaps praises on the young lady. But they do not have the luxury of time time's wingéd chariot is ever racing along Before they know it, their youth will be gone; there will be only the grave. And so, the poet pleads his case: Seize the day.
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