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Humanities 2018, 7(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020061

Carpe Diem: Love, Resistance to Authority, and the Necessity of Choice in Andrew Marvell and Elizabeth Cary

Department of English, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA 91330, USA
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
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Abstract

The theme of love as resistance to authority is the centerpiece of a two-millennia-long tradition in Western poetry known as carpe diem (a phrase credited to the Latin poet Horace). This essay begins by analyzing one of the most famous later examples of carpe diem in English poetry (Andrew Marvell’s 1681 “To His Coy Mistress”), emphasizing the carpe diem ethos’ potential to illustrate both the consequences and the necessity of individual erotic choice—especially female choice—in defiance of authority. It then uses carpe diem’s anti-authoritarian perspective to understand the contrast between the ambivalence of Mariam—torn between a tepid disobedience and regretful loyalty to her husband Herod—and the wholly defiant choices of Salome in Elizabeth Cary’s earlier drama, The Tragedy of Mariam from 1613. View Full-Text
Keywords: love; choice; carpe diem; resistance; authority; poetry love; choice; carpe diem; resistance; authority; poetry
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Bryson, M. Carpe Diem: Love, Resistance to Authority, and the Necessity of Choice in Andrew Marvell and Elizabeth Cary. Humanities 2018, 7, 61.

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