Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




A glance at one or two critical studies on almost any poet at hand will demonstrate the fondness that modern scholars have for charting and cataloguing the intellectual and ideological phases that the particular artist has undergone.1 However, this type of survey work is almost impossible when one is working with a poet whose work is all of a piece. One must approach the latter class of writers with a different sort of intention; here, we must be satisfied to analyze the various modes or options which the artist employed to grapple with his controlling idea. Andrew Marvell is such a poet, despite the fact that we may distinguish a sufficient range of subject matter and stylistic variation to allow us to assent to Miss Sackville-West's observation that Marvell may be considered as a nature poet, a pastoral poet, and a poet of the school of wit.2 Indeed, it is possible to break down Marvell's work into an even more numerous gallery of genres, such as pastoral elegies, courtly lyrics, religious verse, political and occasional poems, debate poems and poems of categorical definition.3 Of course, when we have completed this logical ordering of material, we are left with the fact that such a system can provide little information about the driving force of the imagination of Parliament's "Member for Hull."