The speaker in “To His Coy Mistress” is persistent, certainly a force to be reckoned with. However, his domineering nature does not lend itself to a charming and “nice” guy. Rather, his beautiful words and mastery of language become a bulldozer, both blind and deaf to its listener.

He admits his lust by acknowledging the kind of love and attention that his lady deserves but claims that time hinders it. By valuing physical beauty over a carefully fostered relationship, the speaker demonstrates impatience, a clear indicator that he values his own desires over the will of his lover.

Love is a selfless act of giving, yet here the speaker violates the purity of love by aggressively pushing his lover towards sex. In addition, relationships depend on mutual consent, an aspect that is clearly missing in “To His Coy Mistress.”

The speaker manipulates his lover by capitalizing on the fears of growing old and dying, changing the classic “carpe diem” sentiment into an argument for sex despite feelings of hesitation and obvious discomfort.

Thus, due to his overly-assertive nature and refusal to honor the feelings of his lover, the narrator represents an overbearing man who views women as a plaything for passion rather than a serious partner to develop a real relationship with.

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  1. Thano Prokos 1 week ago

    I’m really interested in this part:

    “Love is a selfless act of giving, yet here the speaker violates the purity of love by aggressively pushing his lover towards sex. In addition, relationships depend on mutual consent, an aspect that is clearly missing in “To His Coy Mistress.””

    For many audiences across many generations, this poem was thought to be cute or funny. What does the fact that you’re walking away with a very different and valid interpretation tell you?

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