Imagery of Time
While the works of Herrick, Marvell, and Shakespeare all differ in style, they have at least one element in common: the theme of time. In Herrick’s “To the Virgins…” the narrator urges women to “be not coy” (13) and to hurry up with their affections because “this same flower that smiles to-day To-morrow will be dying” (3-4). Marvell has his narrator wooing his potential lover with promises of love everlasting.
He states that while he could wait forever for her, they will not live forever; therefore, they should live in the moment, while they are young, and consummate their relationship, “Now let us sport us while we may” (36). Shakespeare immortalizes his subjects in his works, most notably in Sonnet 18, “So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this and this gives life to thee” (13-14). However, he compares youth to age and the loss of sexual desire that accompanies it, “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May” (3).
In Sonnet 116, Shakespeare speaks about the true nature of love, withstanding of all time, although the body is not, “Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle’s compass come” (9-10). All of the writers seem to be addressing a love that is eternal but in the same sentiment are stating that desire or lust only exists with the flesh. Time can destroy a body, but not a love, so when we are young and able, we should enjoy the flesh.
It cannot be immortalized like love can.
Herrick, Robert. “To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time”. http://www. luminarium. org/sevenlit/herrick/tovirgins. htm. Accessed 12 March 2007. Marvell, Andrew. “To his Coy Mistress”. http://luminarium. org/sevenlit/marvell/coy. htm. Accessed 17 March 2007. Shakespeare, William. “Sonnet 18”. http://www. shakespeareonline. com/sonnets/18detail. html Accessed 12 March 2007. http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/116.htmlSample Essay of StudyFaq.com