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'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvel; Brief-answer Questions

To His Coy Mistress

by Andrew Marvel

1. What type of lady is the "Coy Mistress"?

Ans: The 'Coy Mistress' is conservative and hesitant in sexual matters.

2. Why does Marvell call his beloved a coy mistress? [NU 2015]

Ans: Marvell calls his beloved a coy mistress because she is reluctant to have physical relationship with the poet.

3. What does the word 'coy' mean in the poem 'To His Coy Mistress"?

Ans: The word ‘coy’ means shyness in the poem 'To His coy Mistress".

4. In what sense is the lady committing a crime? [NU 2014]

Ans: The lady is committing a crime in the sense that she is not letting her lover make physical love with her because of her coyness even after knowing that they don’t have enough time in their disposal.

5. What do you mean by "vegetable love"? [NU 2013]

Ans: "Vegetable love" means natural love that grows fast without the pressure of being curbed by mitigation of sexual desire.  

6. Where is Humber situated?

Ans: Humber, a river, is situated in North-East England.

7. What flood does the poet refer to in the poem “To His Coy Mistress”?

Ans: In the poem “To His Coy Mistress”, the poet refers to the Biblical flood associated with Noah and the ark.

8. How many years will the poet take to describe the eyes and forehead of his beloved?

Ans: The poet will take a hundred years to describe the eyes and forehead of his beloved.

9. What does Andrew Marvel say about the grave?

Ans: Andrew Marvel says that grave is a fine and private place but none can enjoy the pleasure of love-making there.

10. What is a fine and secret place for making love?

Ans: The grave is a fine and secret place for making love.

11. Why is grave not a private place for making love? [NU 2013]

Ans: According to the poet, grave is not a private place for making love because nobody can embrace his beloved there.

12. What, according to Marvell, is the proper time for enjoyment in life?

Ans: According to Marvell, youth is the proper time for enjoyment in life.

13. What does the poet always hear at his back?

Ans: The poet always hears the hurrying sounds of ‘time’s winged chariot’ at his back

14. What does “Time’s winged chariot” signify? [NU 2012]

Ans: “Time’s winged chariot” signifies the rapid passing of time or the rapid increase of age along with the decrease in sexual ability.

15. What does Marvell mean by 'the iron gates of life' in “To His Coy Mistress”?

Ans: In his poem “To His Coy Mistress”, by the expression 'the iron gates of life', Marvell means the barrier that he wants to bombard and destroy by using his strength. In this sense it may refer to the breaking of the hymen of a virgin.  

16. What does 'Deserts of vast eternity' mean?

Ans: 'Deserts of vast eternity' means the infinite silence or sexless unproductive insipid time after death. 

17. What is 'Carpe Diem theory'? In which poem do you find' it? [NU 2012, 2014]

Ans: ‘Carpe Diem theory’ is the theory based on the Epicurean philosophy of enjoying the present without bothering about the future. We find the presence of this theory in "To His Coy Mistress" by Marvell.

18. What is hyperbole?

Ans: Hyperbole is a kind of figure of speech in which an extreme exaggeration is used to make a point.