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In the original, Marvell used many subtle but effective techniques. The main one is the change in tone for each verse. The first verse is almost seductive, flirting with the reader. ‘An hundred years should go to praise thine eyes,’ the language praises the reader and makes her, whoever it is meant for, seem perfect. The second verse makes a sudden contrast to the first and message is the direct opposite. It threatens the reader that she will lose her good looks but not her virginity. ‘Thy beauty shall no more be found’.

The third verse is very clever in the way that it is an opposite of both first and second verses. It is very wild, rough and almost animal like, ‘And while thy willing soul transpires At every pore with instant fires’. The tone is completely different to the first verse, where it is calm and smooth. The third verse has the direct opposite meaning to the second. The two both say of what will happen depending on what decision she makes. If she does not sleep with him then she will die a virgin, but if she does then she will have an exciting, thrilling time, or so he says.

In the response to this I have tried to mimic the same techniques in my poem. Although the poem I have written is shorter, it still has useful devices and effects. I decided to make it a more modern response so it would be easier to write and therefore be more effective. This would also mean the language was written in a modern style, again, since it would be easier to use.

In my first verse I have tried to create the same atmosphere as in the original. It is calmer than the rest. It does not tell the reader what decision the woman has made to the reader’s proposal. It does agree that there is not as much time as she would have liked. There is a sudden change of tone in the second verse. It mirrors the second verse of the original but turns the argument around. It says that he is the one who is scared of staying a virgin. The only reason he makes all those threatening remarks is because he is scared they will happen to him. The third verse is much like Marvell’s third, saying how much fun and excitement they could be having if she agreed to his proposal. This is actually sarcastic and gets the reader’s hopes up, as if she is toying with him. The final verse just makes fun of the man and different aspects of his poem. It has a great change in tone to the previous verse, where it was more exciting.

I also used other techniques, which relate to the original poem and would not make sense unless ‘To her coy mistress’ is read first. The last verse is full of these. In the fifth and sixth lines, for example, I have quoted out of the original poem. I have mentioned the Ganges, amorous birds, thy marble vault, the Iron Gate and the woman’s grave. When I mention each one I have ridiculed Marvell’s language and choice of metaphors and similes. ‘And lock yourself in ‘thy marble vault’ is an example where this has happened.

Another technique I used was in the second verse was to turn around Marvell’s argument. Marvell threatens that if the woman does not sleep with him tonight then she will never sleep with a man, and die a virgin. I have turned this around saying the only reason the reader says all those things and wants to sleep with her is because he fears it will happen to him.

I believe my poem is an adequate and suitable response to Marvell’s original. It humiliates him and expresses her thoughts using an array of devices, techniques and effects. Its meaning does rely on the original since it is a direct response rather than a response to all poems of that nature. The poem is shorter and therefore faster but I think this adds to the emphasis. It is a good reply to ‘To her coy mistress’.



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