To His Coy Mistress By Andrew Marvell

"To His Coy Mistress," Lines 1-20

Work Time

Begin the class conversation by sharing any words or passages from the poem that you don’t understand.

Discuss these questions to demonstrate your understanding and give your opinions about the poem.

  • In what sense could coyness be a “crime”?
  • Why, in lines 5–7, would the speaker of the poem be complaining?
  • Explain the lines, “And you should, if you please, refuse / Till the conversion of the Jews.”
  • How does the writer use humor to make his point? What’s funny?
  • Has the writer gone too far and crossed over into crassness?