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To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time Themes

Robert Herrick
This Study Guide consists of approximately 32 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time.
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Themes

Carpe Diem

The Latin phrase "carpe diem" means "seize the day." The "carpe diem" philosophy holds that one's time on earth is shorter than one thinks and therefore must be held on to for as long as possible; those who subscribe to such a philosophy tend to value the present more than the unchangeable past or uncertain future. This attitude toward "living deep" and "sucking the marrow out of life" (as Henry David Thoreau phrased it) is a favorite theme of Herrick's and, indeed, of many seventeenth- century poets. "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time" epitomizes the "carpe diem" philosophy by urging its readers—specifically, the young and naive "virgins" of the title—to make the most of the present before their youths have passed. The opening line, "Gather ye rose-buds while ye may," uses the symbol of the rosebuds to command the virgins to symbolically "seize...

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This section contains 736 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time Study Guide
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To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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