Andrew Marvell: To his Coy Mistress (1475 words)

Paul Bembridge (University of Exeter)
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One of the most anthologised poems in the English Language, Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress” was first printed in Marvell’s posthumous collection, Miscellaneous Poems (1681), but may have circulated in manuscript before that date. The poem contains 23 tetrameter couplets, which are set out as a formal argument, a syllogism employing ten couplets and six couplets for its two premises and seven for its conclusion, forming a tripartite structure acknowledged by the three verse paragraphs of the 1681 layout (Miscellaneous Poems, p. 19).

Pressing its “coy mistress” to “sport us while we may” (where “coy” means shy or modest, and possibly …

Citation: Bembridge, Paul. "To his Coy Mistress". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 August 2017 [, accessed 09 December 2022.]

35896 To his Coy Mistress 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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