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The Definition of Love Summary | Andrew Marvell

The Definition of Love Summary | Andrew Marvell

The Definition of Love is a great poem by Andrew Marvell. Here, He talks about how real love is frustrating since it never succeeds in bringing two people together. In the following content, we are going to discuss The Definition of Love Summary.

Writer’s Intro: Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) – is one of the greatest English poets of the 17th Century. He is the son of a priest. Most importantly, he is the assistant of John Milton, another great epic writer.

The Definition of Love Summary


The poem “The Definition of Love” is based on theme of the frustration of real love that can never get united in the material world. Love is a child not of hope but of despair. Despair is presented as the father of love and impossibility is called its mother. In comparison with weak hope, despair is divine and limitless. Hope is powerless to fly in the realm of love.


Fate has decreed that perfect lovers may never achieve a union. The reason is that fate is jealous of their love and is apprehensive that if lovers could meet, it would be the end of its own tyrannous rule over the lives of men and women. The lovers are like the South Pole and the North Pole which can meet only on an astrolabe.

Similarly, the lovers can only meet only if the earth as it comes to an end through a great destruction. The lovers are the center of the earth and yet they can never meet each other. They are like parallel like railway lines which stay side by side but never ever have the opportunity of meeting or union. Only imperfect lovers are like oblique lines can achieve a union.


The decree of fate does not extend over the mind. It can be a union of bodies but not of minds. The poet and the lover are connected by a love that is the union of their minds; the union of their heavenly bodies keeps them apart, but their places are not fixed, and they respect one another.

That is the end of our content The Definition of Love Summary. Thank you for being with us.

If you want to read more summaries of the 16th & 17th century poetry, you can check the following articles:
To His Coy Mistress
Easter Wings

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Saddam Hossain

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Apart from English language and literature skill, I’m a Digital Marketer & Content Writer at My Writing Pen, BD Business Finder, NY Bizlisting.

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