Essays on To His Coy Mistress

To His Coy Mistress
Original title To His Coy Mistress
Author Andrew Marvell


Language English
Characters the speaker and his mistress
Published 1681
ISBN 978-0-14-042417-9
Book Summary
Essay Examples

Table of Contents

About To His Coy Mistress Book

To His Coy Mistress is the work of English politician Andrew Marvell. It has been challenging to establish a specific year or date that the author wrote this piece, but he lived between 1671 and 1678.

Experts believe he wrote it either shortly before or during the interregnum, the period between the execution of Charles I in 1949 and the arrival of his son Charles II in London in 1960. During this period, Andrew Marvell worked as a tutor with the family of Sir Thomas Fairfax, a retired commander in the New Model Army.

The book was posthumously published in 1681. To His Coy Mistress is a metaphysical poem that is part of a series of poems discovered upon his demise. The work is considered one of the author’s most refined and is probably the most acknowledged carpe diem poem in English.


Book Summary

Also known as a seduction poem, To His Coy Mistress is about a man who lustfully desires a virgin woman and attempts to lure her into sexual intimacy. The poem is well structured and written using an ancient Greek and Latin poetry meter.

The poem begins with a woman who has been playing coy to the advances of the speaker. The speaker talks about how he would love to have centuries to adore each part of her beauty and take his time to address her reluctant responses.

He emphasizes the shortness of the human life span and how one must seize the day. He rounds up by asking the woman to consider his time and efforts, stating that they can make the best of their short time if they love each other passionately.

To His Coy Mistress quotes

The poem is about a single speaker trying to convince a woman to have sexual intercourse with him. Below are some quotes of a man smitten with love and sexual desires:


  1. “Thy beauty shall no more be found;

Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound

My echoing song; then worms shall try

That long-preserved virginity,

And your quaint honor turn to dust,

And into ashes all my lust.”


  1. “Had we but world enough and time

This coyness, lady, were no crime.”


  1. “But at my back, I always hear

Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;

And yonder all before us lie

Deserts of vast eternity.”


  1. “Now let us sport us while we may,

And now, like amorous birds of prey,

Rather at once, our time devour

Than languish in his slow-chapped power.

Let us roll all our strength and all

Our sweetness up into one ball,

And tear our pleasures with rough strife

Through the iron gates of life:”


Essay Structure on To His Coy Mistress

You must have a great structure to write a great essay on this popular poem. Below is an example of a simple format that works:


This is what your readers get to see first. It is instrumental in deciding if your readers would keep on reading or not and how well they would enjoy reading your text. You should start with a hook. You can start with a famous quote or lead with a question. Start with something that gets the reader intrigued and excited to read on. Continue with making a thesis statement and the questions you seek to answer.


This is where you fully express your thoughts, opinions, and facts. The body of your essay on To His Coy Mistress has to reflect essential points. Regardless of any title you are writing about, you need to have clear, concise points in the body of your text. You can make good use of love, time, and sexual themes used in the poem. Ensure this aspect of your work reflects due diligence and a good understanding of the topic.


The final part of your text is the conclusion or, better put, summary. This is where you expertly summarize the key points you have mentioned in the body of your text as it relates to your thesis statement. The hallmark of a reasonable conclusion is that it captures the essence of your text, and the reader can understand it fully without having to read the entire text. You can end your conclusion by posing a thought-provoking question or needing more work on a specific aspect.

Tips to Consider While Writing An Essay About To His Coy Mistress

Read the book from Cover to Cover

It would seem a bit difficult to write an essay on a book you are yet to read, especially when you want to write a good essay. The first ingredient to writing an excellent text on To His Coy Mistress is a complete understanding of the poem. Luckily, it’s only a few pages long. Take time to read and understand each line of the poem.

Find a Riveting Topic 

The next step would be to come up with a topic you can easily nail. Of course, reading the entire poem makes this much easier. You can create a topic out of the themes or characters. It is advisable to first come up with a list of topics before narrowing it down to one rather than just creating one topic and running off with it.  

Create the Outline    

Before you begin to write about your chosen topic, you would need to draft a list of chapters or subtopics you want to write on. Itemize your essential points and critical areas that need to be emphasized. This would ensure you do not forget any significant details when you start writing. It would also help the flow of your text and give the reader a seamless read.

Write the thesis statement

A thesis statement is simply what you want to achieve with your text. It is the question your essay wants to answer. A thesis statement would give purpose to your topic and an oversight on which points are necessary to your text and what needs to be trimmed off.

Include a lesson or moral

It is not just enough to write a body of academic text if you cannot leave the reader with a few lessons. Having an informative essay is great; what is better is if the information in your text cumulates into a lesson or moral. This is a vital aspect of your text. Give the reader a lesson to take away.

Conclusion: Proofread your work

Now that you are done writing your essay, you need to edit and proofread your work. This is an open secret that separates great pieces apart from others. Proofreading your work should not be a bore.

You are human, and you probably have made a mistake or two. Proofreading is the opportunity to correct grammar, punctuation, or spelling mistakes. It is a final touch that always symbolizes excellence. A well-edited text that is void of error is often easier to read.

If you have issues or need help writing your essay about To His Coy Mistress, our expert writers are always available. We produce bespoke essays and have a fast turnaround time. Why don’t you give us a try today?


What is the meaning of To His Coy Mistress?

To His Coy Mistress is a love and seduction poem written a virgin mistress who is overly cautious of the speaker and acts coy. It is a metaphysical poem that describes events that rarely exist or are untrue but is needed for the plot.

What is the central theme of To His Coy Mistress?

The central theme of To His Coy Mistress is love and death. This was expertly conveyed using a crafty combination of metaphors, allusions, and wit. It is a love poem about youthful sexual pleasures and beauty with an emphasis on time.

What is the irony in To His Coy Mistress?

To His Coy Mistress involves a series of verbal ironies. Verbal irony is when a speaker says something and means something else. For example, he says he’s willing to wait as long as it takes to make her his, but this is not true because he also kept emphasizing that he didn’t have all day.

Is To His Coy Mistress about love or time?

It is about both. A speaker is a man madly in love with a virgin woman who he can spend centuries just gazing upon her beauty. The poem also made an enemy out of time; the speaker claims it is right on a lovers’ heels, chasing them to death.

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