Passionate Shep. To His Love Contractsed With The Nymph’s Reply Essay, Research Paper
Since the dawn of written history people have been compelled to record their notion of
love in the form of novels and poems. Most of these writings and poems describe a
passionate love; a love based on desire, lust, and intense spiritual contentment. There are,
however, poems which reflects the more accurate and logical aspect of love and devotion.
These distinctly antipodal points of view can be observed in two famous poems;
Christopher Marlowe?s The Passionate Shepherd to His Love and Sir Walter Raleigh?s
The Nymph?s Reply to the Shepherd.
Christopher Marlowe?s poem emulates the passionate and idealistic regard many
people harbor on love. That is– love is based on a profound and deep emotion and will
endure because of the vastness of the emotion. This is conveyed through the speaker in
the poem, who is a common shepherd wanting his object of affection to marry him.
?Come live with me and be my love, and we will all the pleasures prove that hills and
valleys, dales and fields, or wood or steepy mountain yield.? The shepherd tells his love
that all of the needs in life they will find in their love and in nature. The modest shepherd
goes on to tell of the wonderful, yet simplistic, items and treasures he will bestow on his
love, if she will have him. ?And I will make thee beds of roses and a thousand fragrant
posies; a cap of flowers, and a kirtle embroidered all with the leaves of myrtle.? To the
shepherd there is nothing more important than his love, and he is willing to live a pure
and meager life for he knows that his richness comes from love, not financial wealth.
While Christopher Marlowe?s poem resonates fervent love, Sir Walter Raleigh?s
poem reflects a logical and realistic view on love. A Nymph, the speaker of the poem,
tells the shepherd that more than love is needed in life to be happy and his views of love
are only valid in an idealistic world. ?If all of the world and love were young, and truth in
every shepherds tongue, these pretty pleasure might me move, to live with thee and thy
love.? After suggesting that the shepherd is an idealistic romantic, the nymph takes all of
the items and treasures which the shepherd promises to bestow on her and shows, not
only how trifle they are, but also their impracticality. ?Thy gown, thy shoes, thy bed of
roses, thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies, soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten; in folly
ripe, in reason rotten.? Practicality, rather than idealism, is favored by the nymph; this is
seen in the last stanza of the poem, but is also the theme resonated throughout. ?But could
youth last, and love still breed, had joys no date, nor age no need, then these delights my
mind might move, to live with thee and be thy love.? All through the poem the speaker
lets it be known that perfect and idealistic love is not real or logical. Coyly she states that
is it were she would then gladly marry the shepherd, showing she bases her love on
something other than personal wealth.
Even though Marlowe?s and Raleigh?s poems are complete foils, they represent
the views of most Americans. For there are numerous people who believe love is the
cure-all for our countries problems and love is the root of all personal happiness. While
other people feel more than love is needed to lead a complete and happy life. The truth
is– love is a complex combination of idealism coupled with reality. For love is a
decision, one which is made between two people who want to share both the good and the
bad with resound through life and make the best out of challenging situations. Love can
be wonderful, but painful as well, it is whatever you make it.