Comparison Between "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" and "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd"

Paper Type:  Term paper
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1977 Words
Date:  2021-07-01

Several poems well thought out to be companion poems are apparent in history. Companion poems are two distinct poems that are alike. Commonly they speak about similar experience or experiences, and typically written in the same format. Two of the most famous companion poems are "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" by Christopher Marlowe, and "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" by Sir Walter Raleigh.

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"The Passionate Shepherd to his love" By Christopher Marlowe

The poem is about a shepherd writing to his love with a fantasized of country living with a back to nature emotion. Despite, the idea that the modern word has this public sentiment, there are people who have been fantasizing about going back to nature for centuries. "The Passionate Shepherd to his love" was composed in Marlowe's young years. This poem establishes emotions in and idyllic setting.

The song is made of pastoral lyrics that idealize the rural life feeling within the context of personal passion. The Shepherd addresses the women he loves. He entreats her to move in with him and that he will treat her like a queen and make her a bed of roses. In the first stanza, the speaker speaks of his love and asking her to live with him, Come live with me and be my love. In the subsequent stanzas, the shepherd list of beautiful things he with does for her if she decides to live with him. He draws on nature imagery in a way that puts emphasizes on her beauty, "A gown made of the finest wool, / which from our pretty Lambs we pull. The speaker ends the poem by telling her that if his idea of the gifts thrills her, he promised then she should live with him. If these delights thy mind may move, then live with me, and be my love. CITATION Mar17 \l 1033 (Marlowe)"The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" By Sir Walter Raleigh

As the title states, this is a reply to someone else or something written. This poem is in response to the shepherds letter, "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love," in the arguments the speaker puts the argumentative front brought forward by Marlowes shepherd and ditches it totally; calling the shepherd out on the lack of permanence and short-term nature of the promises, he gave. The reply debunks the shepherds fanciful visions, in her argument she states that the shepherd's promises are too limited to material benefits and do not rely upon true commitments and loyalty to her at all.

Raleighs lyrics starts with a conditional statement that rejects the shepherds proposal, with an argument that the promises were temporal and could not be relied on since things changes. If all the world and love were young, /and truth in every Shepherds tongue. The next three stanzas seal the deal, listings the reasons why the shepherds promise looks too good to be real, "The flowers do fade, and wanton fields, / To wayward winter reckoning yields. The flowers will wither, and soon it will get cold, therefore became hard for them to hang out with the sheeps in the river. By the time the final stanza arrives, the Nymph seems to have crushed the poor shepherds dreams. Also, the end of the poem the Nymph states what she needs is something permanent superior to transitory, something that exceeds the cyclic nature of things, "But could youth last and love still breed, / had joys no date nor age no need.

Although the Nymphs request seems paradoxical, unrealistic to achieve and impossible like the eternal youth, regenerative love and timeless joy, her real or sincere wish are that she might find true happiness throughout her life. Example her wish is that these qualities to endure the test of time with the Shepherd as her companion, however, this is a promise he does not or is unwilling to abide by CITATION And15 \l 1033 (Andrew).

Literary and Historical Context

In Elizabethan periods, poetry was a very vital part of the Elizabethan lifestyle. They adored plays and poetry, meaning that in a way she encouraged sponsorship of the writers and poets of her era so that they were motivated to perform and write. These two poems are pastoral, and this genre first emerged in the 15th and 16th century, they show a perfect distinction between the innocence and effortlessness of rural life, in contrast with the artificiality of city and court life. The pastoral tradition is characterized by a state of satisfaction and innocent and romantic love.

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love commonly known for its first line "Come live with me and be my love" written by an English poet Christopher Marlowe published in 1599, six years prior his death. He was a well-known poet; this poem viewed as the earliest examples of the pastoral style of British poetry. Postural poets were vogue among poets at least seventeen years when Marlowe wrote this one. The Greek poet Theocritus, in the third century was the pioneer of the postural poetry and since then all other poetry as to some extent influenced by the original author.

Poets during Elizabethan age used poets as a way to express wit and talent. Therefore, it is entirely possible that Marlowe's poem would have been circulated among friends before it was printed or published. Few poets used to publish their work. Thus, the song was well known before the actual release, and it's thought that he composed it in 1588, it inspired several other publications such as the Nymph reply, he also inspired other works that were similar in tone and content, (i.e. John Donne's "The Bait" (1633).

"The Passionate Shepherd to His Love," reveals an example of courtship that doesnt have much consideration into reality, like many poetical works it speaks on some of the issues of the era in which it was created. Young women in that time of Elizabethan England were raised to give respect to parents without hesitations and questions when married they were to replicate the same to their husbands. They were taught that their primary role is to raise a perfect family and uphold their homes. Way fewer women had an education during that period, the clergy used Sunday sermons to restate womens and girls roles to their husbands and fathers. No minimum age for a girl to marry, girls as young as fifteen could be married, the agreements were sealed in the contract and were sealed after they made love. Young women were required to be pure before marriage.

Walter Raleigh subjected the poem to a well-known reply "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd." Like most of the successful people, Walter had his fair share of both love and hate during his lifetime. He engaged himself into serious trouble; in 1592, he went behind bars for secretly marrying one of Queens Elizabeths ladies in waiting. Some people resented him while others admired his talent as a soldier, Courtier, philosopher, explorer, scientist, historian, and poet. He had a very mesmerizing life and brought a lot through his contribution to the society. Given the extent of the things he did, his idyllic life was one of his least contributions to the society.

Given that Christopher Marlowe was one of the most renowned poets and dramatists in that age, Walters move was not subtle, he was extremely secretive of his poetry, and he therefore deliberated and comforted himself with the fact that his poem was not for printing to keep him out of the limelight. Unfortunately, the poem grassed its way to printing around the same time as the debut Christophers poem, "The Passionate Shepherd." Both poems had probably been going around in manuscript for years before the debut. The Nymph reply appeared first, partially in 1599, in the same volume as the first advent of "The Passionate Shepherd" and its totality in 1600. It seemed like the fame of Marlowe was one of the things that propelled "The Nymph's Reply" and Raleigh into the literary canon, giving them history popularity to enjoy CITATION Shm08 \l 1033 (Shmoop Editorial Team).

In Raleigh's poems that are mentioned today, The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd," is the most printed and usually printed with its companion piece, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love. This makes it ironic that he is not remembered as a prominent poet, the work he is mostly remembered because of Marlowe poetry, any sample of his work should be reprinted throughout the history, however, neither the two built their reputation out of poetry.

Marlowe was and is best known for his writing he did for the stage, among Elizabethan playwrights, he appeared as next to Shakespeare, which is quite an honor considering that none of the dramatists in history exceeded Shakespeare. Today Marlowe gets constant reviews, Raleigh is mostly remembered as an explorer, but he has other several anecdotes accredited to his figure. In real life, the two poets were friends, but their diverse career choice makes them an interesting pair to link via poetry. Most poets ended up forgotten after their deaths. Instead, the secret is in their subject matter that they exclusively expound on or cover thoroughly. These poems are about love in general sense, but more precise Marlowes Shepherd poem is about the idealism that either causes or caused by love, while Raleighs Nymph addresses the sorrows of the cruel reality. In brief, it gives a generalized view of what is best and worst of the pastoral tradition in poetry.

Over the years, the pastoral convention has often risen in challenging environments searching for the quiet tranquility of rolling fields, calm sheep, and truthful shepherds who were as adjacent to nature as people can get. The Elizabethans pleased selves with this kind of optimism; the romantics made it their lives; the moderns were misty as if they had just missed it. Currently, farmers relish fanciful relations with soil, sunshine, and seeds, whereas popular culture inclines to bury the cold truth of their lives comprising of machinery, chemicals, and contracts CITATION Poe09 \l 1033 ( Poetry for Students.).

Replies to Marlowe construction were in a parallel lyrical style that mirrored the original style. Raleigh's answer to Marlowe, "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd," is built in rhyming couplets, but the simple, direct lines mirror Marlowe's style. Raleigh's poem was extensively circulated, just as Marlowe's had been. John Donne with The Bait also replicated the cycle with began with a similar line as Marlowe's but provided a fishing metaphor that a fish is wise to enough to resist bait, even if a lover is not. Another influence found with William Shakespeare's "The Merry Wives of Windsor," when Sir Hugh Evans, the Welsh parson, narrates Marlowe's poemthough it emerges a bit distorted in this performance CITATION Poe16 \l 1033 (Poetry for Students).

Poetic Device and Full Formal Analysis

Both poems reflect an iambic tetrameter form. Most commonly used in English-language poetry. A regular line has roughly ten syllables, of stresses and unstressed syllables. An iamb is a metrical unit made of one unstressed and one stressed syllable. Four beats are placed together in a line of poetry, hence called tetrameter, when iamb combines with tetrameter, it becomes a line with four beats of one unstressed syllable, thus iambic tetrameter. It is a natural rhythm that is easy to read aloud, after each eight-syllable line the reader tends to pause

Marlowes poem, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love Reflects a very regular iambic tetrameter. Each line is composed of precisely four substantial stresses; the metrical feet are mostly iambic. In the same way, A large percentage of the lines reflects eight syllables, and the few that do not form a distinct poetic effect (i.e. lines 3 and 4), or have easily omitted syllables which may be read as eight. The regular meter, persistent through the twenty-four lines, unusually it does not drive the sing-song quality so predominant in tetrameter, but the way Marlowe decorates...

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Comparison Between "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" and "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd". (2021, Jul 01). Retrieved from

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