What are some examples of literary terms in this poem?

Asked on by jamiehsoo

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linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

To answer your question, I'll make a list of literary devices (literary terms) that Marvell used and how he used them.

  • Rhyme: particularly end of line; the poem's rhyme scheme is very easy to trace.
  • Couplet: the entire poem is written in couplets, or two lines that rhyme and have the same meter.
  • Meter: the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables; each couplet has the same number of syllables.
  • Allusion: making reference to people or events in history, mythology, or literature; the speaker says he would love her "ten years before the Flood."
  • Hyperbole: exaggeration; the speaker says that "an hundred years" should be spent to praise her eyes and "thirty thousand to the rest"
  • Simile: youth sits on her skin "like morning dew."

This is a brief list of the devices Marvell used in the poem. I hope it will help you to find more.



workhead9's profile pic

workhead9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

In reading “To his Coy Mistress” there are three literary devices that jump out at me, rhyming words, parallel structure and  allusion.

The first device rhyming words links the first line to the second line, the third line to the fourth line and so on.

Marvell, in turn, uses this device as the basis for the next device, the poem’s parallel structure. First, every pair of lines is linked by a rhyme pair. Second, these pairs of rhyme follow each other as though they are in a single file line. Consequently, Marvell’s use of parallelism gives firm order to the first stanza.

The third literary device Marvell uses is allusion. This occurs in the middle of the first stanza: “Till the conversion of the Jews”. This line gets at the notion of the continual and long-lasting of the rejection of the Jesus as the Messiah.


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