To His Coy Mistress Questions and Answers
by Andrew Marvell

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What is a syllogism and how does Marvell create syllogistic atmosphere in his poem "To His Coy Mistress?"

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A syllogism is a form of logic in which a conclusion appears to be logically derived from two axiomatic propositions. For example, if one proposition is that airplanes contribute to global warming and a second proposition is that global warming is dangerous, then the logical conclusion is that we should all try to reduce the number of flights we take.

In "To His Coy Mistress," the speaker tries to use syllogistic logic throughout the poem to convince a woman to have sex with him. For example, the speaker proposes that the woman is young and beautiful and that her youth and beauty will not last forever. The logical conclusion, he suggests, is that the woman should have sex with him while she can—while she is still beautiful enough to be desirable and while she is still young enough to be passionate.

The speaker also proposes that the woman's concerns for her virginity amount to nothing more than "quaint honour." He also proposes that he really does love her. The implicit, logical...

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