The Passionate Shepherd To His Love Critical Essay

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A bed is something we all require, though a bed of roses “with a thousand fragrant posies,” (Marlowe line 10) is certainly something we do not typically return to each night.

Further, a bed is something lovers typically share together.

Among these responses was Sir Walter Raleigh's "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" (date unknown, but thought to be about 1592), which provides the woman's response to Marlowe's shepherd.

Marlowe's poem also inspired several other notable works that were similar in tone and content, including John Donne's "The Bait" (1633), which also relies upon wit and sexuality to entertain the reader.

“The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe is one of the most well-known love poems in the English language and one of the earliest examples of the pastoral poetry in Elizabethan era.

It consists of six four-line stanzas rhymed according to the pattern AABB, which forms two couplets. It sounds melodious also due to refrain "Come live with me and be my love", which recurs three times. His speech is addressed to a woman, probably nymph. The shephard hopes that he and his beloved will lead an Edenic, carefree life of free love in nature.

Still, he believes that he will manage to seduce the female with his description of the beauty and richness of nature.

To make his offer sound attractive he uses variety of stylistic devices: apostrophe ("Come live with me and be my love"), epithets ("steepy", shallow", "melodious", "fair lined", "the purest"), alliteration ("The shepherds’ swains shall dance and sing", "mind may move") and metaphors ("I will make thee beds of roses", "Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle").

Marlowe mixes images of objects made from nature (beds of roses, a cap of flowers, a belt of straw with ivy buds) with images of man-made objects (gold buckles, silver dishes).

His beloved thus will receive the best of both worlds.


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