Male and Female relationships as represented in three in Poems
Two of the relationships that the male and female entered into are in the area of romantic and sexual relationships. The Three Poems “To His Coy Mistress” by Marvell, “To the Virgins” by Herrick and “General Review of the Sex Situation” by Parker gives an insight into the expectations and attitude of both sexes towards these two kinds of male and female relationships.
In a romantic relationship, the male and female had different expectations. Women usually demands commitment and devotion in their romantic relationships (especially in marriage) while the male is only in it for fun. In the poem “General Review of the Sex Situation “by Parker it is mentioned in lines 1 to 4 that a “woman wants monogamy” while “man delights in novelty” and that “love is woman’s moon and sun” while “man has other forms of fun” ( Parker 2001 ). These means that when a woman enters a relationship, her lover automatically becomes the center of her life wherein all of her thoughts and activities were aimed in pleasing the man who has become her “lord”. Moreover, for her the relationship is exclusive, it is only her and him. The man, however, had other ideas in mind when entering into a relationship. From his point of view, relationships are for fun only and should not be treated seriously. For him, relationships are just for show offs, for display of his physical prowess. The thoughts of commitment and devotion are far from his mind for he does not think that he will stay for a lifetime. In fact, as the poem said in line 6, “Count to ten, and man is bored” , it is of a big possibility that the man may soon lose his interest in the relationship and find another source of “fun” elsewhere ( Parker 2001). Therefore, these opposing expectations have become the cause of troubles in male and female relationships so that as the poem of Parker in the last line asked, “What earthly good can come of it?”(Parker 2001).
In addition, sexual relationships between male and female arise out of passions and may be a by-product of romantic involvement. And like romantic relationships, the male and the female had different attitudes towards it. Men are usually the eager initiators of sexual union, concerned with time, while the woman tends to be hesitant about it. The man had to make the effort to persuade the woman to give up her honor for him while she is sill young. As implied in the poem by Parker, women’s hesitation may arise from the common knowledge that men are not monogamous who usually move on to another as they get bored. The two poems, “To his coy Mistress” by Marvell and “To the Virgins” by Herrick, clearly reveal man’s sexual intention. In “To his coy mistress”, the male lover there personally urged his mistress to engage in sexual acts with him. He used sweet words to convince her to give in, such as telling her in line 12 of the first stanza that his love for her will grow as “vast as empires” and that she deserved to be love that way. The man in addressing the hesitation of his mistress said in lines 1 and 2 of the first stanza that “had we but world enough, and time, this coyness, lady, were no crime” (Marvell 1999). The man was trying to make his lover understand that that it would have been all right for his mistress to be coy if they have all the time in the world to wait but as is the case may be time flies quickly like “winged chariot hurrying near” ( Marvell 1999 ). He reminded her that a time will come when she will die and “thy beauty shall no more be found” (Marvell 1999). It would be a pity then that it is the worms who will benefit in her “long preserv’d virginity” (Marvell 1999 ).
Therefore the male lover , with the use of his persuasive arguments , tries to convince his mistress that it would be better to engage in sexual acts that gave them pleasure while she is still young and physically strong otherwise the mistress will go to the grave where no one will embrace her. The poem” To the virgins” by Herrick has the same message as the poem “To his coy mistress”. It urges the female to give up virginity at the prime of youth. The poet likened the young virgins to a rosebud that had just started to bloom in beauty “when youth and blood are warmer” (Herrick, 1891,102 ). He warned the young women that they may be a “flower that smiles to-day” but a time will come when the same flower “will be dying” (Herrick, 1891, 102). There is no reason then for a woman to be shy but for her to marry while she is still young for there is nothing to be gain in waiting a time longer.
As conclusion, it is clear that male and female engaged in a romantic and sexual relationships but that generally each may have differing expectations and attitudes towards it. Women usually treat these two relationships as a serious matter that requires commitment and devotion to last for a lifetime while the men may be in it for a short time for fun or pleasure especially when the woman is still young.
Herrick, Robert. (1891). Works of Robert Herrick. Vol I. Alfred Pollard, ed.London: Lawrence ; Bullen, 1891.
Marvell, Andrew. (1999). To his Coy Mistress. Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature (Created by Anniina Jokinen). Accessed April 27, 2008 from http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/marvell/coy.htm
Parker, Dorothy. (2001). General Review of the Sex Situation. Plagiarist Poetry Archive. Accessed April 27, 2008 from http://plagiarist.com/poetry/1912/