Analysis “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” was composed sometime in Marlowe’s early years, (between the ages of sixteen and twenty-three) around the same time he translated Ovid’s Amores. This is to say, Marlowe wrote this poem before he went to London to become a playwright. The Emotional versus the Rational: A Literary Analysis and Comparison between Sir Walter Raleigh’s “The Nymph’s Reply to Her Shepherd” and Christopher Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” "Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow"—Horace Horace’s statement on first glance, especially in light of treatment of thematic issues related to carpe diem poetry, might have a . The Passionate Shepherd to His love – Sample Essays For those who love war the world is an excellent field, but I am a born cleric or poet. I must see both sides and take neither, in order, ideally, to embrace both, to sing both, and love the different forms that . From the flow of the diction and tone, the shepherd makes no evident attempt of a sordid kind of passion but instead, reaches out to his wife. By the integration of the environment in the enunciation of the poem’s theme, the writer achieves ample comprehension by the reader. “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” is a love poem that contains six quatrains of rhyming couplets in iambic tetrameter. In marked contrast to Christopher Marlowe’s plays about heroes and.
- Passionate Shepherd to His Love
- The Passionate Shepherd to His Love Summary Essay
- “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe
Passionate Shepherd to His Love
Hire Writer Realism, which would not come into being as a poetic or literary style for many centuries after Marlowe, has little place in pastoral verse. The next stanza suggests that the lovers will take their entertainment not in a theatre or at a banquet, but sitting upon rocks or by rivers.
They will watch shepherds of which the titular speaker is ostensibly one, except here it is implied that he will have ample leisure feeding their flocks, or listening to waterfalls and the songs of birds.
These are entirely bucolic, traditional entertainments; the idea of Marlowe, the young man about town who chose to live in London, actually enjoying these rustic pleasures exclusively and leaving the city behind is laughable. Again, these invitations are not to be taken literally. The list of the things he will make for his lady: While certainly many of the adornments Marlowe lists would be within the power of a real shepherd to procure or make the slippers, the belt, possibly the bed of roses in season , the cap of flowers, and the many posies, and possibly even the kirtle embroidered with myrtle and the lambs wool gown, but the gold buckles, the coral clasps, and the amber studs would not be easily available to the smallholder or tenant shepherds who actually did the work of sheepherding.
This increasingly fanciful list of gifts could only come from a member of the gentry, or a merchant in a town. This is another convention of pastoral poetry. While the delights of the countryside and the rural life of manual labor are celebrated, the poet and the reader is assumed to be noble, or at least above manual labor.
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love Summary Essay
Incidentally, the plants mentioned roses, flowers, and myrtle are conventional horticultural expressions of romance. The rose, especially, was sacred to the goddess Venus and it is how roses have come to symbolize romantic love in some modern Western cultures. The myrtle was associated with Venus, too, and especially with marriage rituals in Ancient Rome. The attribute of virginity should not necessarily be assumed here; it was not for a few more centuries that myrtle would come to symbolize sexual purity.
Therefore the kirtle embroidered with myrtle is not just a pretty rhyme and a word-picture of a desirable garment. Myrtle was an appropriate nature symbol from the Greek and Roman mythologies from which the first pastoral poems come to insert into a love-poem. A rustic form of performance — in the open air and not on a stage — is again in marked contrast to the kind of formal performance of plays on the Renaissance stage, which would make Marlowe famous at a very young age.
There is no guarantee that the lady will find these country enticements enough to follow the Shepherd, and since the construction of them is preposterous and fantastical to begin with, the reader is left with the very real possibility that the Shepherd will be disappointed.
This is to say, Marlowe wrote this poem before he went to London to become a playwright. It is headlong in its rush of sentiment, though, upon examination, it reveals itself to be a particularly well-balanced piece of poetry.
“The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe
This poem is justly famous: It may well be the most widely recognized piece that Marlowe ever wrote, despite the popularity of certain of his plays. The meter, though seemingly regular, gives a great deal of meaning and music to this poem. In line 10 the iambic pattern, so far unbroken, reverses to trochaic stressed, unstressed. But it is a completely complementary line to the one above it which contains an almost perfect match of nine iambic syllables , and creates movement and motion in the poem.
This kind of temporary shift of meter makes the poem lighter to read, and, while preserving regularity, lessens any sing-song quality that might occur if too many regular lines appear in sequence. This skillful change is one of the reasons this poem is so often read aloud. It is musical and regular to the ear, but it is never rigid or predictable. Line endings, too, can create variety within regularity, and also call attention to the subject matter of the lines.
The second syllable of most two-syllable words is usually an unstressed one. Marlowe chose his words with very great care. A skillful and expressive reader might read this repeated line thusly, upon its second occurrence. If read the opposite way from the first line spondaic rather than iambic the meaning of the line changes just enough to create a development of emotion.
This is no mean feat in a poem only twenty-four lines in length.
But any studied analysis of the poem reveals its depth; the poem can be read as containing irony as written by an urbane man who longed for the city rather than the country, and thus constructed impossible rustic scenarios , serious and heartfelt emotion, a slight political commentary, a gentle sadness, and a transcendent love of nature.
Good poetry is often many things to different readers, and Marlowe was able to create, within a codified and one might say ossified form of poetry a piece of clever and flexible Elizabethan verse. The Shepherd may not have been real, but the emotions and effects created by this poem have their own reality. How to cite this page Choose cite format: