The Passionate Shepherd to his Love (Theme)

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Elizabethan poetry, as the name infers, is comprised of all the poetry written during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. The Elizabethan age was a pivotal point for poetry and it founded the form for literature. In addition to being one of the most famous love poems in the English language, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love is considered one of the earliest examples of Elizabethan poetry as it develops the characteristics of the countryside over those of the city. In other words, the poem is manifesting an idealized image of country life, presenting the opposite of the reality of difficult life in harsh conditions. Nonetheless, the striking imagery in The Passionate Shepherd to His Love has assured that it has remained one of the most memorable poems in the English language.

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On the contrary, anyone who lived in a pretty how town by Edward Estlin Cummings encompasses the inner self and the individual in traditional society. It can also be interpreted as a love story between a figure named “No-one” and a figure named “Anyone.” On another level, the poem may be about the passage of time. This work of poetry is fundamental to modern society because it is a reaction to the perceived surpluses of Victorian poetry, with its emphasis on traditional formalism and elegant style. Christopher Marlowe writes The Passionate Shepherd to His Love and sets an idealized version of the countryside, where life is immeasurable and everything is perfect. Marlowe opens the poem by urging his beloved, whom reasonably resides in an urban environment, to meet him in the farmland.

For example, the speaker says: “Come live with me, and be my love, And we will all the pleasures prove, That valleys, groves, hills, and fields, Woods, or steepy mountain yields.” In these lines, the Marlowe means to say that if his lover decides to live with him and be his lover, he will show her all of the wonders in nature. In the next couple of lines, the shepherd is saying that they will sit on rocks and watch the farmers tend to their animals, where the songbirds sing by the streams. While that might not sound romantic to the reader with modern-day expectations, back then, sitting around and watching sheep was something that people enjoyed. These lines are also critical for the poem, as it is the first literary device that Marlowe uses other than of course, a rhyme scheme. “Seeing the shepherds” and “Feed their flock” is the example of the first sign of alliteration used in the poem. The shepherd ventures to lure her by claiming that he will make flower beds of roses, a thousand fragrant posies, a bonnet and petticoat ornamented for the loved one.

For example, the Shepherd says: “And I will make thee beds of roses, And a thousand fragrant posies, A cap of flowers, and a kirtle, Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle.” In these lines, the Marlowe is saying that the shepherd will give the woman flowers of all types, and make lots of pretty clothes for her to wear. The speaker is going to lots of trouble to promise nice things to persuade his love to accept his offer. In other words, the shepherd will give his love a gown out of the finest wool from his prettiest sheep. He is also offering the finest and best fair lined slippers for the cold, which have buckles of the purest gold.

The last lines of the poem are essential, simply because it is a turning point for the reader. For example, the writer says “A belt of straw, and ivy buds, With coral clasps and amber studs.” The shepherd has moved increasingly farther away from promises he can actually keep because coral and amber were costly products in Marlowe\’s time. This act of hopelessness can be a sign that the speaker has gone desperate to keep his love forever. It seems that the speaker is willing to do whatever it takes to have her stay. The speaker says he will offer items that he cannot even afford if it pleases her, and that she should go live with him and be his lover. All in all, Love plays a significant purpose in this poem, as the opening line reassures readers to think of it in terms of romantic interest. The lover in the poem makes commitments to his beloved about how they can live an idyllic and typical life in the countryside. The whimsical nature and energy of juvenility can be seen throughout the poem.

On the other hand, anyone lived in a pretty how town by Edward Estlin Cummings is about the loss and lack of identity of people in the modern world. The writer opens the poem with the following lines: “anyone lived in a pretty how town (with up so floating many bells down) spring summer autumn winter he sang his didn\’t he danced his did.”Line 3 of the poem discusses the four seasons. It can be concluded that time seems to be progressing through the four seasons while people are just floating among some bells. The imagery still is not pulling together into anything definite. Cummings seems to argue that life is distinguishable only by the change in the weather. The poem goes on to say: “one day anyone died I guess (and no one stooped to kiss his face) busy folk buried them side by side? little by little and was by was” People die, but they are not necessary to live a successful life. The average people in the pretty how town died and was disregarded by everyone else. Notice the use of “I guess,” giving a tone of casualness and uncertainty. When the writer says \’ busy folk buried them side by side\’ he is referring to the descriptive phrase that again emphasizes how established routine is into the lifestyle of the townspeople. “Little by little” implies the physical process of burial and the lost significance of anyone to the townspeople. Cummings suggests a continued awareness, almost as if they are sleeping next to each other in death, “dream[ing] their sleep” as the earth renews itself again in April during spring. In the end, this poem is an exaggeration of uniqueness submerged in the ordinary. This poem is the ultimate contradiction of life itself because we are all individuals, but when we are held like cattle into a group, we all become ordinary and alike.

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love encompasses a traditional tale set in the countryside. This poem cases the version of the country as a little bit too good to be right in real life. Shepherding is not a traditionally effective job, and they tended to be relatively mediocre and work their whole lives. With this actuality in mind, the speaker of this poem endeavors to counter that by building a picture of natural riches and beauty. However, anyone who lived in a pretty how town is a complete contradiction because the poem is not traditional or typical in any way. For example, the writer was purposefully vague on the concept that “anyone” means a particular person and that “anyone” can mean anyone or everyone. In turn, people are directed to this absurdity of the human status that few notice us and we are neglected by many. Somehow Cummings achieves to write a deliberately enigmatic poem filled with syntax reversals, using different words and very little punctuation.

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love ends with an \’if\’ remark, and contains a somewhat dull note. There is no promise that the woman will find the country lures enough to follow the Shepherd and the reader is left with the genuine but not certain possibility that the Shepherd will be disappointed. This uncertain ending is also evident in anyone who lived in a pretty how town because most of the text has a double meaning, including the title. For example, the story begins with \’anyone,\’ which can be considered as a specific person. The choices of language make this poem complex and intricate to just one specific meaning.

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The Passionate Shepherd to His Love (Theme). (2020, Nov 18). Retrieved September 28, 2022 , from

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