SirJohn Suckling’s ‘the siege’ uses extended metaphors, with heaps of exaggerationand sarcasm, which all contribute to the satirical theme of the poem.

The siegecould be misconstrued and taken at face value could be read as a war poemregarding the siege of a fort. However, was read more closely it is clear thathe uses these metaphors of ‘forts’, ‘great cannons’ and ‘the enemy ay quiet’ todescribe the courting of a lady, which becomes a siege on a fort. This wouldhave been a traditional metaphor for courtship during the 1600’s. The poem,like Herrick’s, holds themes of Carpe Diem.

It starts by saying if the speakerhad all the time in the world he would woe her properly, however, time is shortso they need to act quickly. This once again could be linked back to theturmoil of the country, with King Charles being exiled and the threat ofCromwell and his strict rules on the horizon, it was imminent to do all theenjoyable and pleasurable things possible whilst they still had a chance. Evenafter the King’s restoration, the people may still have been dubious about howlong the King’s reign would last so the Carpe Diem still applied. However, inthis particular poem, the speaker is rejected, it is clear he is a victim ofpride, particularly when the speaker suggests he stops trying to win her over,he claims there are other conquests he can focus on. The speaker claims he ‘hatea fool that starves her love, only to feed her pride’, here he is suggestingthat she does wish to let him advance on her, but she wont fold and give in.

The word pride can be related back to he historical context of the time,perhaps it was not so much pride as the bitter speaker suggested but more of aworry about how others around her would then view her. Women who succumbed totheir sexual desires without the security of marriage, were at that time notfavoured by many. This once again can be attributed to the religion and rulingof the 17th century, men were allowed a much wider range of sexualpromiscuity, yet women were supposed to remain loyal to their husbands and notbe swayed into an unmarried bed.             Suckling,however, uses satire in the form of exaggeration, extended metaphors andnonchalance to convince women that they must put fear aside, follow theirheart, preferably into his bed, and live for the moment. However, in the siegethis does not work for him, yet he is so unsure why as he feels he has doneeverything he possibly could do yet is shunned by the prude women of the time.             AndrewMarvell had a slightly different take on life. Living the life mostly as arepublican, Marvell narrowly escaped punishment for his own co-operation inrepublicanism. Marvell wrote ‘To his coy mistress’ around 1650-1652, right inthe midst of Cromwell’s reign of power.

Although slightly unclear on whereMarvell’s loyalties lay, it is abundantly clear that his work represents thetransitional stage that England was going through, from the vastly Christianand still medieval culture into the modern society it became. Marvell wrotework that celebrated the birth of the children of King Charles 1 yet also wrote’An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell’s return from Ireland’.             Onceagain the Carpe Diem theme is prevalent throughout Marvell’s ‘To his coymistress’. The poem starts by exaggerating that if he, the speaker, had all thetime in the word he would indeed take his time to woo her properly.

However,with multiple wars going on and the uncertainty in leadership that ensued, timewas of the essence. Marvell uses witty, far-fetched metaphors and similies,which hold a uniqueness unlike any other, which all contributes to thesatirical theme. For example, ‘sits on they skin like morning dew’, this notonly paints a picture to the reader but gives the impression that just like thedew, her beauty will too disappear in time. He also uses a strong metaphor todepict how short time really is, ‘Time’s winged chariot hurrying near’ not onlypersonifies time by making it something tangible.

The use of the word hurryingonly strengthens the argument and endears the reader to listen and considerwhat is being said. Marvell flatters the ‘mistress’ whilst also beingsarcastic, all of which add to the satire in the poem. He states ‘lady, youdeserve this’, shortly followed by the hyperbole that if she does not let himsway her and take her virginity, then when she dies the worms will. Thisemphasis shows that Marvell was anxious about the country’s future and that hewanted to make the most of the time he had. In this part, Marvell is appealingto the women’s vanity yet uses incredibly detailed and gruesome imagery tostress the urgency, and his point of Carpe Diem. Marvell uses his dramaticmonologue to critique the gender bias of this period that he viewed as flawed.There is even biblical references in the poem which give it context and make itmore believable to the reader, in the lines ‘love you ten years before theflood’, this alludes to Noah’s ark, making the argument have a intellectualdepth which helps to persuade.             Allfour poets show signs of a metaphysical poet, using extended rhetorical devicesand using greater emphasis on the spoken aspects of their work as opposed tothe lyrical.

Each of the poets has used monologue to concisely put together anargument of almost sound logic. They have all used the dire and unpredictablestate of the country, the monarchy and parliament, to create carpe diem poems,which would help them get their own way with women. However, women of that erawere slightly more prude and in a way proud, too proud to just give theirvirginity away to anyone. To have intercourse without marriage in that erawould have been frowned upon, so for the poets to try to convince women to dootherwise would have taken a lot of persuasion. The poets do put togethercomprehensive arguments, they use logic to make a point, however this just letsthe reader have an insight into the poets own anxiety and ambivalences causedby the confusion and turmoil the wars caused.             Allfour poets hold a huge fascination with time in their poetry, each of the fourpoems has an aspect of Carpe diem and time is mentioned in all of them. Theidea that time is running out, time is precious and that the everyone,particularly the women the poems are aimed at, should forget the rules and doas they please. Although the poems seem like they are aimed at the women, theymay have also been read by close personal friends and for the entertainment ofthe court.

They were not published poems but more for entertainment, yet thepoets still had to be slightly conscious of what they wrote and how they wroteit so as not to anger the King or Cromwell. Nonetheless, all four poems showaspects of criticism of either society or the politics of that era, whetherthat is the double standards of the gendered bias and the misogynistic cultureof society at time. The use of extended metaphors and sarcasm throughout allfour poems contribute to the satirical themes and show the anxieties andambivalences each individual during the confusing time of the interregnum andthe restoration. 

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