The Passionate Shepherd Poems Essay

This essay has a total of 430 words and 2 pages.

The Passionate Shepherd Poems

The poems "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" (Marlowe), "The Nymph's Reply to the
Shepherd" (Raleigh), and "Song" (Lewis ) all focus on the same basic plot and characters
but vary considerably in point of view and theme. This difference comes primarily through
the difference in the poems' speakers. A poor shepherd is the voice of both "The
Passionate Shepherd to His Love," and "Song." However, the shepherds of the two poems
feature almost opposite attitudes.

The shepherd in "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love," the original poem of the series, is
a romantic idealist who paints beautiful pictures for the girl he loves of "beds of roses"
and riches. In contrast, the shepherd in "Song" seems almost pessimistic. He too paints a
picture for the girl he loves, but his is of hardship, toil, and bitterness, not beauty
and love. This difference in attitude completely changes the light in which each of the
poems is viewed. Because of the light-hearted, romantic tones of "The Passionate Shepherd
to His Love," the reader experiences a similar dreamy, faraway mood. The reader of "Song",
however, feels only sadness and perhaps longing for a world of greater possibilities than
the grim one the speaker describes in the poem.

The speaker of "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" shines yet another light on the general
plot of the poems. In this poem, we see a possible reply of the woman to the original
"Passionate Shepherd" in the Christopher Marlowe poem. Unimpressed by the shepherds
extravagant promises, she practically answers that such material things will fade and the
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