Marvell back dating
Much of the first stanza is imagery used to exaggerate the time the couple would need together to love properly.
He then moves on to say that in reality they don’t have much time, so they need to hurry.
Limited understanding of religion affects a modern reader’s ability to interpret texts written in a culture where a religion permeated every area of life.
In order to understand the carpe diem argument and counter-argument in Andrew Marvell’s poem “To His Coy Mistress,” the reader must understand Christian relations with the Jews in seventeenth century England.
The Biblical prophecy does not seem sufficient reason to pursue conversion on a large scale.
Christians were primarily interested in the conversion of Jews as a practical means to a self-serving end.
In his poem, Marvell makes allusions to Judaism and Christianity that could slip past modern readers and that weaken the speaker’s argument.
An exploration of English views of Jews at the time the poem was written leads to a further understanding and multiple interpretations of the poem.
Shapiro points out that from the time Edward VI too the throne in 1547 to the time Elizabeth took the throne in 1558, the state religion of England had changed three times (135).In fact, England was the first European country to expel Jews (Danson 147).In “The Royalist Position Concerning the Readmission of the Jews to England,” M.This prophecy is recalled centuries late by Paul in the book of Romans: “Isaiah also cried concerning Israel, ‘Though the number of children of Israel is as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved'” (Romans KJV).Biblical prophecy called for the Jews to return to God, which from a Christian standpoint meant conversion.