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Lecture 15

EN 2100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Tetrameter, Dorothy Parker, Spondee

Course Code
EN 2100
Andy Weaver

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January 12 Lecture
-Gender dynamic
-Love attains the ideal but only as an abstract concept – going against the physical
-The beloved (almost always a woman) described in idealized terms and is generally
view as too good to be attained
-Attaining the beloved actually diminishes her since it removes her from ideal realm and
places her into the physical world
-Men unrealistically praise women and judge them according to these ideals – putting
women up to unattainable standards (a fools game because women either remain
idealized, or judged against ideals once relationship is achieved)
-Women are either the angel or the whore
-Women as tools to make men better
-Carpe diem (seize the day) poems usually revolve around the “damned if you do damned
if you don’t” types of poems: since the ideal is unattainable, we should seize the day
-Carpe diem poems focusing on now
Andrew Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress”
-The beloved is not described at all; all we know is that she is young, coy and chased
-The poem focuses on the speaker’s own simple desire (“love”) and the willingness of the
women succumbing to his desires
-Creates a temporal ideal
-This poem is all about desire and is build upon logical and argumentative elements –
poem of the heart and of the mind
-The thesis: Time is running out so we should have sex
-Arguing that her shyness would not be a problem if they had all the time in the world
-Manipulating readers with the form: written in iambic tetrameter and rhyming couplets
to show that his argument is logical and makes sense; not taken over by lust
-Iambic pentameter is commonly used in daily speech between breaths- he chose
tetrameter to speed up the “sentence”
-Line 4 slows down the line with alliteration, caesura and a spondee
-Line 22: showing how time is fast and always sneaking up on you – time flies
-Eventually their love will die because of time (love is not eternal because is physical)
-Suggesting that keeping her virginity will not benefit her in any way – useless; if you die
a virgin, worms will take your virginity (your body will be ravaged anyway)
-Saying that he can see that she is physically desiring him as well (turned on and burning
with lust)
-Prey or predator: being prey to time or predators devouring each other
-The gates of life: her vagina
-Making time speed up to catch them because they will be living so quickly
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, “The Mock Song”
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