Marlowe And Raleigh Essay, Research Paper
The two poems written by Raleigh and Marlowe are interesting. Marlowe s poem, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, basically propositions a woman to sleep with a man, where Raleigh s, The Nymph s Reply to the Shepherd, responds negatively. Marlowe s poem is a Shepherd asking a nymph for favors. Raleigh responds, saying no. The two poems follow each other closely, and refer to the same subjects. The big difference in the poems is that Marlowe s poem is not realistic, whereas Raleigh s is. The whole poem seems a little shaky and irresponsible. The Nymph really knows about life, and the Shepherd wants a fairy tale.
The Shepherd s poem seems to be about material possessions and intangible dreams. The poem states that the Shepherd is willing to give the Nymph a lot of meaningless things, and they will live together forever. Love cannot be based upon material things, especially the trifles that the Shepherd promises. He claims he will give her such things as beds of roses and a thousand fragrant posies, and a belt of straw and ivy buds, with coral clasps and amber studs. These things are nice, but not the substance needed for love. Love is based on feelings, emotions. Not ivy and straw. The Shepherd never alludes to any sort of life arrangement, either. It could be concluded that the man wants merely a physical relationship, and although physical gifts are all it takes for some women, the Nymph is not so dumb. The Nymph apparently has some plans for the future that do not involve the Shepherd. Maybe the Nymph doesn t even like the Shepherd. Regardless of that, the Nymph obviously knows her stuff. The Shepherd seems to be using, if you will, a bad campaign strategy. He is approaching the Nymph in the wrong way for true love. Perhaps he doesn t want true love, just an affair. This is a possibility, but no matter what the Shepherd wants, the Nymph has different ideas. The intangible dreams and weak offerings that the Shepherd offers are not acceptable to base love on.
The Nymph can see straight through the Shepherd. She is apparently too headstrong to be fooled by such a proposition. As with most women, she can see that the Shepherd is merely another man trying to get her into bed. Although it would be nice, the real world cannot support a love based on flowers and hills. She makes some good points against him- especially in saying If all the world and love were young, and truth in every shepherd s tongue. She sees right through him. She also says she would go with him Had joys no date nor age no need, implying that she would be happy only for a short time. The poem basically insults the Shepherd s ideas, and makes it clear that his attentions are unneeded and unreturned. The Nymph seems to be quite a bit more practical than the Shepherd
The poem written by Marlowe is very idealistic, full of wishes and longings, and propositions that are not practical. Raleigh s poem is more realistic, responding with an actual real life point of view. The two in comparison are comical. The poem by Marlowe is a basic love poem, full of sweet nothings and beauty, where Raleigh responds and shoots down the other poem. Most poetry sounds ridiculous after having read these poems. As romantic as it may be, Marlowe s poem really has no grounding in the real world. The contrast between the real world and Marlowe s poem would be difficult to see if it weren t for Raleigh s poem. Rarely does a person read a poem and complain how far away from real life it is. The difference is startling. The two poems really do have two focuses– one in reality and one in a fairy tale.