The speaker of Andrew Marvell’s poem, "To His Coy Mistress," thinks that time is a super-villain out to get him. He wants to flip the script and control time. It’s not surprising that Marvell was concerned with time. It was a hot topic in the 1600s. Marvell lived during the time of both Galileo Galilei and Sir Isaac Newton, both of whom revolutionized the way we think about time today. Time remains a mystery to us, and Marvell’s poem gives us an opportunity to explore that mystery.
Time functions as a character in the poem – a character who battles the speaker over the speaker’s mistress, or so the speaker claims to believe.
A look at the history of clocks helps us understand the anxiety over time that the speaker of "To His Coy Mistress" feels. (This one will require some research.)