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‘The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd’ By Sir Walter Raleigh Essay

Within this essay I intend to compare “Passionate Shepherd to his Love” by Christopher Marlowe which is a ballad and an idyll. With ” The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” by Sir Walter Raleigh which is also an idyll. I will focus on the parody aspect of the poem by Raleigh.

The first poem “Passionate Shepherd to his Love” is about a man who lives on his own in the beautiful countryside trying to persuade a woman to live with him and be his love. Bribing her with materialistic gifts.

‘ A gown made of the finest wool,

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Which from our pretty lambs we pull,

Fair lined slippers for the cold,

With buckles of the purest gold.’

The second poem ” The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” is a reply to the lonely man/shepherd. In it, it states the negative side to what he is offering. It also says that if he can offer her the impossible then she will be his love.

‘But could youth last and love still breed,

Had no joys no date nor age no need,

Then these delights my mind might move,

To live with thee and be thy love.’

The first line of Marlowe’s poem

‘Come live with me and be my love’

Is simply stating what he hopes to achieve by writing the poem. It then goes on to say;

‘And we will all the pleasures proove,

That valleys, groves, hills and fields,

Woods or steepy mountain yields.’

Then offering extra, the chance for freedom ad a perfect lifestyle, a sort of dreamlike view of what he would be giving. As well as offering this, he adds beautiful scenery.

‘And we will sit upon the rocks,

Seeing the shepherd feed their flocks,

By shallow rivers, to whose falls

Melodious birds sing madrigals.’

In each line he seems to be hoping for more than he did in the last for company and to be loved. In the third verse

‘And I will make thee a bed of roses,

And a thousand fragrant posies,

A cap of flowers and a kirtle

Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle.’

He says that he will give her flowers, enticing her to go and live with him.

‘A gown made of the finest wool

Which from which our pretty lambs we pull

Fair lined slippers for the cold

With buckles of the purest gold.’

In this verse he offers her gold this is the first item he offers which he would have to pay for. He also emphasises on the fact that ‘they’ would have pretty lambs.

In the penultimate verse he offers her his second item of expense.

‘A belt of straw and ivy buds

With coral clasps and amber studs.’

He also goes on to say that if all seems good

enough for her then she should live with him.

‘And if these pleasures may thee move,

Come live with thee and be thy love.’

Here in the last line of the penultimate verse it repeats the first line of the poem emphasising what he wants. In the last verse he says that he will get young country boys to dance for her.

‘The shepherd swains shall dance and sing

For thy delight each May morning.’

This I think would be a gesture to her that he would be unable to complete. The last two lines of the last verse are the same of those in the penultimate verse.

‘If these delights thy mind might move

Then live with me and be my love.’

That if the gestures he has made provoke her attention and make her think twice about having a beautiful place to live in then she should live with him.

My opinion of this poem is that Marlowe builds up all his ideas on the first line of the first verse because that is what he hops to achieve.

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‘Come live with me and be my love’

The poem by Sir Walter Raleigh is a parody of Marlowe’s. Raleigh is writing in a woman’s persona.

‘If all the world and love were young,

And truth in every shepherd’s tongue,

These pretty pleasures might me move,

To live with thee and by thy love.’

This is idealising all life, mimicing the first as all the way through all it says is about beauty and perfectness of each and every single thing in the countryside. It says that if it is as perfect as he suggested then she will live with him and be his love. In the second verse the writer smacks reality by mentioning what happens in the changing seasons in the countryside saying that beauty will cease and die and that what is being said cannot be true. Here again making a parody of the first poem.

‘Time drives flocks from fields to fold,

When rivers rage and rocks grow cold

And philomel becometh dumb,

The rest complains of cares to come.’

This thought continues into the first two lines of the next verse.

‘The flowers do fade, and wanton fields

To wayward winter reckoning yields.’

These lines then bringing even more emphasis to the negative view of the countryside and imitating what has been said. In the next two lines the writer says although what he has said is sweet ‘her’ heart will be bitter and will resent him for being so false, one sided and positive minded.

‘A honey tounge a heart of gall,

Is fancy’s spring but sorrows fall.’

The fourth verse starts by using all the natural offerings.

‘Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy bed of roses,

Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies.’

But then turns to the negative point of view and says that all natural possessions eventually die and become rotten, mocking what Marlowe promises.

‘Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,

In folly ripe, in reason rotten.’

The penultimate verse lists all the gifts offered of expense.

‘Thy belt of straw and ivy buds,

Thy cord clasps and amber studs.’

It then goes on to say that whatever is offered she will not go and live with him and be his love.

‘All these in me no means can move,

To come to thee and be thy love.

In the last verse, the writer questions himself.

‘But could youth last and love still breed,

Had joys no date nor age no need.’

He is wondering if eternal youth would be possible. But then realises that it is impossible. Here imitating Marlowe’s poem yet again saying that everything he says is impossible.

This verse states that if she could be given the impossible eternal youth then she might consider going to live with the shepherd and being his love but as he cant offer her this she wont. Here he is mocking Marlowe”s poem bringing the hopes of his poem to an end.

In my opinion this poem brings out the negative point of view of what has been said in a positive romantic way in the first poem.

In Marlowe”s poem the images I have are rural life with peace and tranquillity and beautiful things

‘And we will sit upon the rocks,

Seeing the shepherd feed their flocks

By shallow rivers, to whose falls,

Melodious birds sing madrigals.’

In Raleigh’s poem you can see a much different picture. It is of a dark place with fading countryside and dreary weather.

‘Time drives the flocks to field from fold,

When rivers rage and rocks grow cold,

And philomel becometh dumb,

The rest complains of cares to come.’

In Marlowe”s poem he uses metaphors

‘And I will make thee a bed of roses,

And a thousand fragrant posies.’

This makes the poem seem unrealistic although it has an air of romanticism. He also uses enjambment between lines. Raleigh uses alliteration in his poem.

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‘Time drives the flocks from field to fold,

When rivers rage rocks grow cold.’

The ‘R’ sound evokes a sense of coldness of the water, like the coldness of a nymphs heart.

In the first poem four of the five senses are used to evoke the readers reactions.

‘Thousand fragrant posies.’

This would make the reader feel happy, by making them think of the scent that would surround them. The next is sound

‘Melodious birds sing madrigals.’

By doing this Marlowe hopes to win over the attention of the nymph. It also helps to make the readers feel as if they are there.

‘A gown made of the finest wool.’

This sense of touch helps the readers feel what it would be like. For the last sense, Marlowe uses sight;

‘And we will sit upon the rocks.’

Making the reader think that of beautiful scenery and trying to win them over.

In Raleigh’s poem he also uses senses to provoke the reader. He uses

‘The philomel becometh dumb.’

‘Thy belt of straw and ivy buds.’

‘The flowers do fade, and wanton fields.’

He uses all these to get the attention of the reader although in both poems they are used in a different context. In Raleigh’s poem it just helps him put across the negative side and emphasises on the fact that his poem is a parody of Marlowe”s.

I think that Marlowe decided to write his poem in this way because it is about love and love is quite simple once it has been found.

The poems rhyme consists of aabb rhyming couplets in both poems for example in Marlowe”s poem,

‘Love, prove.’

‘Fields, yields.’

And in Raleigh”s poem,

‘Buds, studs.’

‘Forgotten, rotten.’

When read aloud the rhythmic tone of Marlowe”s poem is gentle, calm and loving. While the rhythmic tone of Raleigh’s poem is jagged, rough and flowing. I think Marlowe has chosen a calm, gentle and loving poem because he is trying to persuade a woman to love him. Raleigh chose his poem to be jagged and because he is mimicking Marlowe”s poem in structure and form although he is quite brutal in his choice of words.

The choice of Marlowe’s words in his own poem makes it sound romantic and full of love.

‘Come live with me, and be thy love.’

This sounds as though he just wants to be loved.

‘And we will all the pleasures prove.’

He is just restating that all he wants is for the girl to love him. Marlowe uses specific words to place pictures in the reader’s mind,

‘Bed of roses.’

He says this as roses are a symbol of love and that’s what he hopes to achieve.

‘For thy delight.’

He will do anything to make her happy. Marlowe groups the words to effect the poem in that it is made to sound more romantic.

Raleigh”s words group together to create a large mocking effect on Marlowe”s poem.

Conclusion In my opinion Marlowe is trying to show the reader that he is trying hard to win a woman’s love. I think the way he offers his gifts could be quite persuasive because if someone had always dreamt of being showered with gifts and living in perfect surroundings, then they may decide to go and live with him. Raleigh is highlighting his opinion of the countryside and love. It is mainly negative.

‘A honey tongue, a heart of gall,

Is fancy’s spring, but sorrows fall.’

He is communicating to the reader that he is mimicking Marlowe by doing this. I thin k that when Marlowe wrote the poem he was lonely and wanted somebody to love him, and so these feelings were put into the poem. While on the other hand Raleigh, I feel was unable to trust anybody to love him and/or find anybody to love and so he mocks Marlowe for wanting love.

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'The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd' By Sir Walter Raleigh Essay
Artscolumbia
Artscolumbia
Within this essay I intend to compare "Passionate Shepherd to his Love" by Christopher Marlowe which is a ballad and an idyll. With " The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" by Sir Walter Raleigh which is also an idyll. I will focus on the parody aspect of the poem by Raleigh. The first poem "Passionate Shepherd to his Love" is about a man who lives on his own in the beautiful countryside trying to persuade a woman to live with him and be his love. Bribing her with materialistic gifts. ' A gown
2018-05-25 07:00:24
'The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd' By Sir Walter Raleigh Essay
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