Carpe diem Essay In the “carpe diem” poems “To the Virgins to Make Much of Time” and “Ulysses” the authors both use the theme of the poem to convey an argument of some sort. The poems are used to both make an argument and validate a point or statement, giving the poems more meaning and making the themes more obvious and enjoyable. The arguments in these poems are made very clear and set out for very noticeable objectives.
The reason behind this is so that the authors can make strong standing statements and back them up with their personal point of view. “To the Virgins to Make Much of Time” was written by Robert Herrick and conveys a very strong argument. He backs up his argument throughout nearly the entire length of the poem. His argument is directed at virgins and virgins only. He is trying to convey the point that you shouldn’t wait too long to give yourself to someone else because the person you are today will not be the same in the future.
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He uses the idea that time is flying by to back up this point “Old Time is still a flying; And this same flower that smiles today, Tomorrow will be dying” (lines 2-4). He goes to say that you won’t always be in your prime and if you wait until afterwards you will regret not doing it. He says that being young makes it better and your emotions run higher, and that as you get older it just gets worse and worse, “That age is best which is the first, When youth and blood are warmer; But being spent, the worse, and worst Times still succeed the former” (lines 9-12).
He ends the poem by informing the reader to use their time wisely because if they wait until after their prime they will regret it forever “Then be not coy, but use your time, And while ye may, go marry; For having lost but once your prime, You may for ever tarry” (lines 13-16). The poem conveys a valid argument with some very strong points and gives the reader something to think about. The second poem is “Ulysses” by Tennyson and also conveys an argument throughout the poem. In this poem Ulysses is trying to validate that there is no point in him staying at home in his kingdom because he “Cannot rest from travel” (line 6).
He is a man who loves to travel and explore new things; it’s what he lives for. He thinks that remaining in one place is boring and a waste of his time. He sees traveling and exploring as a way of constantly gaining knowledge, he wants “to follow knowledge like a sinking star” (line 31). After he discusses this he goes to explain that his son will be taking his place while he is out on his travels “This is my son, mine own Telemachus, to whom I leave the scepter and the isle” (line 33).
He claims that his son will do a great job in his place. In the last stanza he talks about his ship and the mates he’s worked and traveled with in the past. He goes to say that even though he and they are older, they still have the possibility of doing something very honorable. His main goal is to travel and explore all the way up until he dies. This is why he is so devoted to his argument that staying home is not right for him. His place in life lives with exploring and he makes that very clear with his argument. Mr.
James Joyce makes use of a mythical parallel as a means “of controlling, of ordering, of giving a shape and significance to the immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history” (Page 14). Ulysses was a very strong poem and the arguments are completely validated throughout the poem. Both of these Carpe diem poems are most definitely about living to the fullest. These two poems give a great example of how many differing themes can be used in this genre. Both poems use the theme to convey very strong arguments that give many valid points and reveal the authors point of view.
Works Cited Herrick, Robert. “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time. ” Literature: An Introduction to fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 11th ed. New York: Longman, 2010. 1052. Print. Alfred, Lord Tennyson. “Ulysses. ” Literature: An Introduction to fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 11th ed. New York: Longman, 2010. 1090-1091. Print. “Critical Reception. ” Ulysses–Portals of Discovery. Patrick A. McCarthy. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1990. 14-22. Twayne’s Masterwork Studies 41. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 20 Sep. 2012.