A Critical Analysis of the Poetry of Marvell Essay

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Critical Analysis of The Garden


As with many of his poems, Andrew Marvell wrote The Garden to put forward his point of view and then argue it logically. In The Definition of Love, for example, he writes about unrequited passions, insisting that Fate itself acts against true love; in The Garden he takes a similarly pessimistic viewpoint and takes it to its misanthropic limits, attempting to argue that being at one with nature and away from other people is the best way to live.


All poets have traits and habits that define their own style - some more so than others. Marvell's style is particularly recognizable, as he commonly uses several easily identifiable techniques and images. Of the latter, The Garden features
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The two-line epigram


Society is all but rude,

To this delicious Solitude.


summarizes his argument concisely - Marvell would much prefer a life of isolation to the hectic interaction with other people that is part of an ordinary life. Also, this seems to be very much Marvell's opinion: often in poetry it is unclear as to whether the poet shares the same views as the narrator; with Marvell's work, it always seems apparent that it contains his own views.


Another of Marvell's regular themes that is utilized in The Garden is that of classical and biblical references. The paradise he depicts if very much like the garden of Eden, and Greek and Latin references abound:


Apollo hunted Daphne so,

Only that She might Laurel grow.

And Pan did after Syrinx speed,

Not as a Nymph, but for a Reed.


In a similar vein, he often uses exotic references (for the time). "Stumbling on Melons• and mentioning "The Nectaren• would have greatly impressed people of Marvell's time; these fruits had only recently been discovered in the New World - it was indeed a time of discovery, and Marvell tries to show his knowledge of current events in any way he can.


The language used is also typically Marvellian. The very first line - "How vainly men themselves amaze• - uses a distorted syntax that is akin to having Marvell's signature on the poem (as with "And yet I

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