The Definition Of Love Andrew Marvell Essay

Although the explanation that he was a tutor seems most plausible, there is no certainty about what he was doing.

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In a letter of February 21, 1653 recommending Marvell for a place in his own department in Oliver Cromwell’s government, Milton credits Marvell with four years’ travel in Holland, France, Italy, and Spain, where he acquired the languages of all four countries.

Regrettably Milton casts no light upon the motives and circumstances of this journey.

He first turned into a panegyrist for the Lord Protector and his regime and then into an increasingly bitter satirist and polemicist, attacking the royal court and the established church in both prose and verse.

It is as if the most delicate and elusive of butterflies somehow metamorphosed into a caterpillar.

The mystery is further complicated by a lack of evidence regarding Marvell’s whereabouts and activities during most of the decade.

In 1639 he earned his BA and stayed on at the university, evidently to pursue a MA degree.Marvell’s satires won him a reputation in his own day and preserved his memory beyond the 18th century as a patriotic political writer—a clever and courageous enemy of court corruption and a defender of religious and political liberty and the rights of Parliament.It was only in the 19th century that his lyrical poems began to attract serious attention, and it was not until T. Eliot’s classic essay (first published in March 1921), marking the tercentenary of Marvell’s birth, that Marvell attained recognition as one of the major lyric poets of his age.His father was, Marvell wrote years later in , though I confess none of the most over-running or eager in them.” Not surprisingly then, at the age of twelve in 1633, Marvell was sent up to Trinity College, Cambridge.This was the very year that William Laud became archbishop of Canterbury.Equally uncertain are the nature and timing of his personal involvement and his commitments in the great national events that occurred during his lifetime.Nevertheless, despite the equivocal status of many of the details of Marvell’s life and career, the overall direction is clear enough: he is a fitting symbol for England’s transformation in the 17th century from what was still largely a medieval, Christian culture into a modern, secular society.In 1641, however, his father drowned in “the Tide of ”—the estuary at Hull made famous by “To his Coy Mistress.” Shortly afterward Marvell left Cambridge, and there is plausible speculation that he might have worked for a time in the shipping business of his well-to-do brother-in-law, Edmund Popple.It is known that sometime during the 1640s Marvell undertook an extended tour of the Continent.Such tenuous evidence as exists, however, does not suggest Puritan enthusiasm on the part of the youthful poet.The story that Marvell, converted by Jesuits, ran away from Cambridge and was persuaded to return by his father, who found him in a London bookshop, has never been properly verified (although embarrassment over such a youthful indiscretion might go far to explain the virulent anti-Catholicism of his later years).


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