The Seduction and "To His Coy Mistress" poem analysis

Just by looking at the title of the seduction, you can tell what the poem’s going to be about. In the poem the seduction we hear of a teenage girl (not a woman) who is seduced by a boy who takes drugs, drinks alcohol and skips school. The poem starts with him taking her to the docks where he usually goes when he has meant to be in school. The both of them start drinking Vodka and they get very tipsy.

When they went back there the second time, they did exactly the same thing but this time she dressed up for him. First, they kissed, but then it obviously went further because when you turn the page the next stanza is talking about here being 3 months pregnant. Once she realised, she stayed home in her room crying to herself and getting frustrated with her magazines for not helping her. As her stomach grew bigger and bigger she began to dream about life without a child or a big stomach.

There was no way that she could hide the fact that she was pregnant.

There is a strict pattern of four lines in each stanza except one where there are eight. In nearly every verse, there is a rhyme in the second and fourth line. This gives the poem an even structure and works as paragraphs. When each stanza starts there’s a new happening just like paragraphs. I think that this poem is good because it is very realistic because the happenings of the poem could happen in reality.

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It makes realise what can happen to people who makes mistakes in their life.

The poem is set in the docks next to a river called “The Mersey.” This river is shown as a dirty one, which creates an un-romantic atmosphere. “The Mersey, green as a septic wound”

The girl at first is presented as an ordinary girl that has just met a boy in a party, “After the party, early Sunday morning.” The girl is also seen as an innocent young girl because when she drank the Vodka she then “giggled” which shows that she is tipsy. Being tipsy implies that she is not used to hard drinks. This proves that she is trying to be older than she is. A giggle is also something that a young schoolgirl does, which shows the young women’s innocence. She is also presented as a schoolgirl who has a future and could do well in school, “O levels she’d be sitting in June.”

After she finds out that’s she’s pregnant her image changes from being young and innocent to being pictured as sluty, this is implied by her sleeping with a boy she’s only known for a couple of hours, “after the party, early Sunday morning”. Then she is impregnated which shows that she has changed from a young girl to a woman. “A belly huge and ripe”. I think that she is the only one to blame for her actions as she is the only one who could have stopped her. On the other hand, you could blame some of it on the boy because he took advantage of a young and na�ve girl.

The last two verses talk about how she wishes that she had been like all the other teenagers doing bad things, “better to be smoking scented drugs” this shows that she would prefer to be doing something that’s she can stop or change rather than do something that cant be reversed, such as being pregnant, “better to destroy your life in modern man made ways than to fall into this despicable feminine void” The “fall” in that quote implies that she has fallen into a trap that she cant get out of, like a hole.

In the first part of the poem, the boy is presented as a “bad-boy” who does not go to school and has an alcohol and drug problem. “When I should be at school,” “and a bag filled with shimmering, sweet paint thinner.” This creates an atmosphere that he comes from a bad family because he takes his dads pornographic magazines while he is at the docks. “Where I go by myself, with me dads magazines” But as you notice he is only present in the first part of the poem, this is because as soon as he finds out she’s pregnant he didn’t want to know her anymore. This implies that he is not responsible and is not aware of his father “duties.”

The first thing that is noticed about this poem is the title “The Seduction” this is explaining the content of the poem is about the boy getting the girl to sleep with him “with fingers that stroked her neck and thighs”

The magazines play a big part in the “seduction” because the magazine tells her that she should find out for herself how things are, “And how would you know if you never took a chance.” And she has listened to her magazines and taken a chance with sleeping with this boy and she ended up being pregnant. I think the writer wanted you to think about the fact that magazines are not always right and that you she make your own decisions, responsibly.

The poem “to his coy mistress” was written in the point of view of a male writing a letter to a woman. It is written as if it’s a letter of some sort because its all of the mans talking and nothing else. This is very different to the narrative style of “The seduction” because ‘the seduction’ is telling a story and the narrator is talking about all that is happening not just in one area, unlike ‘to his coy mistress’ because it is all of one man talking.

The poem is organised into two long paragraphs. It consists of a strict rhyming scheme, which is coupling. This is very different to ‘The seduction’ because the seduction does not rhyme as often and there are numerous paragraphs rather than just two of to his coy mistress’. This is because ‘ the seduction’ is a story and is told as most story’s by a narrator structured in paragraphs to show different happenings, but ‘to his coy mistress’ is a letter, or a man speaking so it has two long paragraphs, and strict rhyming, this creates a flow of the poem, it makes you read it rhythmically urging you to go on and read more, which is what the mans trying to do to the woman he’s sending it to.

There are settings that are implied in ‘to his coy mistress’, and they are fantasy ones, and are imaginative. One of them is “Thou by the Indian Ganges side,” this is saying that the man will take the woman to any place that she wants to, and the ‘Ganges’ is thought of a romantic place, so he’s saying to her that he will take her to the most romantic places. Another is ” Love you ten years before the flood” this is implying to ‘Noah’s flood’ one of the earliest events in history, he is saying that he will love her for longer than eternity, and that he has all the time in the world to do so. Also ” Times winged chariot hurrying near”, this is continuing from the past quote, because he is saying that if he had all the time in the world he would love her for that long but he says that he can hear times winged chariot hurrying near” explaining that he see death chasing behind him. All of these are very different settings to “the seduction” because “the seduction” is set in the “quiet bricks of”; this is suggesting that this place that he takes her is out of the way from everyone so that no one can catch what he is doing. “Far past the silver stream of traffic” this is implying that he was miles away from all the hustle and bustle of any town or city so there were not many people around. In addition, the place he takes her to be very different to “to his coy mistress” because he doesn’t take her to a romantic place like the Ganges he takes her next to ‘the Mersey’ river. This place isn’t very romantic at all because the river is a dirty one “towards the frightening scum on the water”. We also find out that the place is dirty because there is a description “The Mersey, as green as a septic wound”.

‘The Seduction’ also has an imagined setting – the world of magazines. The meaning of this is that the girl in the poem is talking about how she wishes she had been an ordinary girl and done what all the girls in the magazines did. “For where, now, was the summer of the sixteenth year?” The girl deals with this fantasy world by ripping up the magazines, as if she was destroying all that was in them, destroying the memory of that life she wanted.

The woman in ‘to his coy mistress’ is presented as a very shy woman, “coy”. She is suggested that she needs a bit of encouragement to be with the man. “This coyness lady were no crime”. This is rather the opposite of the girl in “the seduction” because the boy only gives her alcohol and she is basically willing to his desires, “As he brought here more drinks, so she fell in love” So this means that the presentation of the girl in “the seduction” is very forward and willing. Maybe even a bit of a slag, “and he muttered ‘ little slag’.”

The roles of the male in “to his coy mistress” is that he’s trying to get the woman (the mistress) to sleep with him, or maybe even to except him, “let us role all our strength”. And the male in “the seduction” has got the same role; they are similar in the fact that they both want to get the girl in the poem to sleep with them. The only difference is, is that they use different ways to do so, the male in “the seduction” uses alcohol and his touch to seduce her, “With fingers that touched her neck and thighs”. And the male in “to his coy mistress” tries to use words to seduce the girl in the poem, “Two hundred to adore each breast”.

There are many images portrayed in the poem. One of them is “and the kisses that tasted of nicotine” I find this description very interesting because it is a coincidence because people who smoke find that nicotine tastes horrible but even so they cant give up. This is the same case for her, the kisses do not taste nice but she still kisses him because she is addicted to him.

Another is “sat in the dark” this isn’t actually the image, it’s the descriptions before that makes this image really good and unusual. At the start of the 6th verse it says “all high in white shoes” this is significance with marriage and white is also a symbol of purity. But like I said the real contrast is the “sat in the dark” in the 3rd line of that verse, because its implying that she is not pure anymore, or marriage is not going to be in the question. So it shows that ‘the dirty is done’.

These two images suit the poem because it increase’s our understanding of the situation that the girl is in, because the contrast between white and dark is how the girl is, from a good girl to a bad girl. And the “nicotine” is also good because it suits with the theme of the poem, which is, drugs and alcohol. So this description fits in with the poem very well.

In “to his coy mistress” the male says to the woman he’s trying to seduce her “then worms shall try that long preserv’d virginity” which is a rather horrible description, because he’s talking about her being in her tomb, which straight away is saying that she’s dead. But then he says that the worms will take away the virginity that she’s kept. This is implying that she may as well have sex with the man because when you die the worms will have sex with her anyway. This is a striking description because he is telling her horrible things, but it suits the poem because it is emphasising his perverted ways.

The aims of these poems, in my opinion is to show people that people can talk a lot of rubbish just to get one thing, in this case sex. And that growing up quickly isn’t always the best way as the girl in “the seduction” found out. The aims are reflected in the styles of the poems because in “to his coy mistress” there are many long words and a lot of talk about romance but the bottom line is he’s saying it all to get her to sleep with him. And in “the seduction” she grew up to fast with drinking vodka and having sex that she forgot that she was a teenager and had a teenage life that she misses later on in the poem.

I preferred “the Seduction” mainly because it’s more modern and I can relate to it, more than I can relate to “to his coy mistress” because it’s older and is something very fictional. So in my opinion the seduction was better than to his coy Mistress”

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The Seduction and "To His Coy Mistress" poem analysis. (2018, Dec 19). Retrieved from

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