Themes in The Garden


In general, Marvell is describing a mystical perception in The Garden, though his focus is not on God as such, but a perception of the divine (similar to that which Wordsworth was to experience in the Romantic era). At the same time, he is denying the completeness of the lovers' world. Completeness is possible, he is saying, but only in solitary meditation amidst nature. He moves beyond the traditional forms of pastoral quiet to a theological statement of Platonic idealism. This is his form of personal freedom: the freedom of the soul to escape its physical limitations.

Investigating The Garden
  • Look at the notes about Marvell's pastoralism in The Garden
    • In our crowded and busy world, is it still possible to achieve such inner tranquillity?
  • Pick out words and phrases in the poem that suggest peace
  • Pick out others that suggest movement, noise, confusion
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