To His Coy Mistress is about a dramatic monologue of the persona arguing with his mistress to have physical intimacy with him and to enjoy life to the fullest. The poem is split into three sections, the first is what he would do if he had all the time in the world “had we but world and enough and time”, the second that there isn’t enough time for the persona to do all that he want with his mistress as death is near “But at my back I always hear Time’s winged chariot hurrying near” and the last where the persona is more assertive and imperative as they don’t have enough time so to make up for it they have to experience or the pleasure of life before old age takes them. Iambic tetrameter is present in this poem to represent a new argument every couplet.
In “in thy marble vault, shall sound/my echoing song; then worms shall try/that long preserved virginity” the persona uses the imagery of being confined in a marble vault to his mistress’s limited way of thinking of the world, confined by old fashioned rules. Then he goes on to say that if the mistress will not listen to him and have consummation of sex, her virginity will be taken away from the worms in her deathbed. He does this to persuade her to disapprove of the old rules and con her into having cohabitation. In the last 4 stanzas the persona suggests that having cohabitation will break the “iron gates of life” which is the mistress’s coyness and wishes to revolutionize the way society was back then, a confined civilization where life is governed by the rules. The speaker acts calmer admitting that physical intimacy is a compromise that they cannot stop time through it but can “make time run”. “Thus though we cannot make our sun/Stand still yet we will make him run” This is a paradox of his argument to attempt to slow down time as having consummation of sex would make “tempus fugit” and fasten their deaths.
Metaphysical characteristics and concepts are shown in “to his coy mistress” by comparing time to cohabitation and that “tempus fugit” all the time. We wish to have all the time in the world but cannot for our loved ones and for ourselves
During the 17th century there was a major social and political upheaval. In “A dialogue between soul and body” it is an example of the civil war between the Bourgeoisies who were the middle working class mean who produced wealth and the Puritans who were strict religious people who deprived themselves of sexual desires, entertainment and celebrations. In the poem the soul and body are having an internal argument on who has it better/worse being alive together. The soul expresses itself to live in a world of physical pain next to body organs, where it just wants to die and go to heaven. The body on the other hand can’t live forever and go to heaven and hates the soul for giving it life. And the worst part the body has to experience is the emotional pain.
Iambic tetrameter is also present in this poem to emphasize the pain and suffering of these personified beings.
The metaphor in the first couplet the soul calls the body a “dungeon” trapped in its physical restraints being “enslav’d” having to go through the bodies emotional pain twice as much as the body “ double Heart”. The soul then pleas for help with a rhetorical question as a damsel in distress “quote”. “quote all my care” shows the dehumanizing of the