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Time Themes in Andrew Marvell’s Poetry

Author MengZuoXiYang
Tutor ZuoKui
School Southwestern University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Andrew Marvell time themes poem
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Andrew Marvell, an English metaphysical poet in the 17th century, plays a very important role in English literature. He inherits romanticism tradition from the Elizabeth time and has opened the rational classicism of the 18th century. Many of Marvell’s poems explore the human condition in terms of fundamental dichotomies that resist resolution. In religious or philosophical poems the conflict is between nature and grace, or body and soul, or poetic creation and sacrifice. In love poems, it is often between flesh and spirit, or physical sex and platonic love, or idealizing courtship and the ravages of time. In pastoral poems such as Garden, the conflict is between dream and realistic, the fallen and Edenic state, or violent passion and contentment.Among his poems, there are lots of poems interlacing with the time space, concerning on the issues and expressing poet himself in the past, present and future. Therefore, this thesis focuses on the time themes of Andrew Marvell’s poetry, so as to get the perception of Marvell’s opinion of retirement, death, and religion through close reading.This thesis has been divided into three parts. Chapter one discusses the past theme, mainly on his nostalgia to the golden time and the green garden. Chapter two discusses present. It’s about how people pursue death, which was the main trend in the seventeenth century, and treating death in the right way, people have to lead a blooming life. Chapter three is future; the theme is great power of ruin of time.

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