The Bane of Life and Beauty: Time Essay

This essay has a total of 1226 words and 5 pages.

The Bane of Life and Beauty: Time



The Bane of Life and Beauty: Time

"For every man, Time is an emptying reservoir; to fret over how much you have left only
wastes it." - Lee Connolly. In every person's mind, a clock is running. A pendulum is
constantly swinging and ticking into the future, into the unknown. Every person must, at
sometime, recognize Time as a measurement of their own life and not something that can be
ignored and forgotten about. As long as there have been life there has been death, and
Time is simply a tool in which nature uses to remind us of this. Writers of the
seventeenth century realized this, and put it into to words extremely well. The
seventeenth century was filled with religion, fighting, death, new governments, and it was
no surprise that brilliant literature would emerge from such an era. The literature of the
time would later be divided into three main categories or "schools." These three schools
being the metaphysical school, cavalier school, and the extremely religous Puritan school.
Though each of these schools consist of very different styles of writing, they all attempt
to warn their readers of Time's passing and its consequences. Whether the poems were read
in the seventeenth century, today, or in another hundred years, the message is the same;
Time is not something that stops for anyone or anything. It is an intangible reality in
any man's life. The metaphysical school,containing authors such as John Donne and Andrew
Marvel, seem to express to the reader that time moves quickly, while the Puritan group of
writers, such as John Milton, seem to be slightly annoyed by Time's passing but accepts it
and puts it in God's hands, and lastly the cavaliers, including Robert Herrick, write more
about living life for today and living life like there is no tomorrow.

Andrew Marvel, a metaphysical writer, stated,"But at my back I always hear Time's winged
chariot hurrying near,"(679). In this quote from "To His Coy Mistress," Marvel expresses
Time as a chariot chasing him. Its inevitable arrival would signify death, but Marvel also
spoke of Time's effects in one's beauty. Also in "To His Coy Mistress," he says,"Thy
beauty shall no more be found,"(679). What Marvel was trying to say was that Time, or age,
takes one's beauty with it; as it passes so does youth and all of its benefits. In
general, Marvel's "To His Coy Mistress," warns the "mistress" and the reader to look out
for Time, for it tends to creep up on people. He exclaims, "Had we but world enough, and
time,"(679) he follows by telling his "mistress" they could sit together and decide "which
way to walk." Yet he knows that they do not have the world and time to do everything they
want, but they can at least squeeze in as much as they can in the time they have. Another
metaphysical writer of the time was John Donne. One of Donne's pieces dealing with Time
was "The Sun Rising,"(605). In this brilliantly constructed poem, he represents Time
physically with the sun. He ellaborates on how its rising each day is a signal for Time's
passing each day. When he states, "Hours, days, months, which are the rags of time,"(605)
he uses hours, days, and months as measurements of Time and a somewhat physical
representation of Time. Both of these writers brilliantly expressed Time and how it
effects man.
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