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The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
Transcript of The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
This poem is written from the point of view of a desperate shepherd
Poetic Form and Setting
Pastoral poem. They usually center around the love of a shepherd for a maiden.
The poem has six stanzas that has four lines. The use of the four-line stanza illustrates the deep desire of the shepherd to his love by repetitiously calling to the one he loves.
The poem is set in the rural countryside in early spring.
The use of the word madrigals (line 8) suggests that the time is in the sixteenth century. Madrigals refers to poems that are set to music and sung by two to six voices with a single melody or interweaving melodies.
The Passionate Shepherd: Asks a woman to become his love and enjoy all the pleasures that nature has to offer.
The Shepherd's love: The woman who receives the Passionate Shepherd's message.
Theme and Tone
Love will drive men to strive to achieve the unattainable
Carpe diem: love in a simple, rural setting. Urges people to enjoy the moment without worrying about the future.
The tone is desperate, pleading, sincere, and passionate because he is trying to win over the heart of his love.
Rhyme and Repetition
In each stanza, the first line rhymes with the second line, and the third line rhymes with the fourth.
"Come live with me and be my love" (stanza 1,5, and 6, line 1). The repetition of the sentences strengthens his passion to his love. Therefore, we can understand the Shepherd's intention much more clearly.
"The Shepherd swains shall dance and sing," (line 25). The alliteration adds emphasis to the poet's points. Marlowe uses alliteration to emphasize how happy he could make his love if she accepts his proposal to live with him.
Hyperbole: "A thousand fragrant posies," "As precious as the gods do eat," shows how far he would go to prove his love.
Allusion: "Melodious birds sing madrigals," Madrigals are secular poems, usually meant to be sung.
Imagery: "Buckles of the purest gold," Trying to appeal to his love's senses by describing the material objects in a majestic way.
Irony: The entire poem is irony because a shepherd could never obtain these objects.
Do you think the Shepherd's words are genuine?
How do you think the poem was written? Sarcastically? Romantically?
If the speaker was a female, would the poem change?
What is the effect of having a response from the speaker's love?
Christopher Marlowe, a poet and playwright.
His work influenced William Shakespeare and other writers.
Died at the age of 29. Stabbed in the head by Ingram Frizer in a tavern after a dispute over the tab. The men he was with were all in the secret service.
Thought to be a secret agent for Sir Francis Walsingham's intelligence service (the Queen).
"The poem is a love one. The shepherd pursued the girl to be his lover. It is a kind of proposing. The shepherd made a lot of thing by flowers for the girl. People who are in love always buy or make gifts by hand to their lovers. The shepherd was no exception. He gave a lot of presents to please the girl. It is different to woo a woman among John Donne's poems, Andrew Marvell's, and Christopher Marlowe's. If I were the woman in those poems I would chose the shepherd because the love is pure and simple. Everything in this poem is fine and wonderful, like in a fairy tale." (Tina)
"Raleigh, however, will have none of Marlowe's idealism and naivete. In Marlowe's poem, the shepherd has sung his song to the lover, and Raleigh's poem is her reply. Interestingly enough, Raleigh uses the word "nymph" instead of a more neutral word like "girl" or a direct counter like "love". Although the word nymph did mean "girl" in Raleigh's time, it also had the mythological connotation of a female spirit who would have been adept at warding off satyrs and would-be suitors. Raleigh's nymph breaks down the shepherd's love-struck ballad quickly and efficiently."