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The Passionate Shepherd to his Love Analysis



Author: Poetry of Christopher Marlowe Type: Poetry Views: 4501





1Come live with me and be my love,

2And we will all the pleasures prove,

3That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,

4Woods, or steepy mountain yields.



5And we will sit upon the rocks,

6Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,

7By shallow rivers, to whose falls

8Melodious birds sing madrigals.



9And I will make thee beds of roses,

10And a thousand fragrant posies,

11A cap of flowers and a kirtle

12Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle:



13A gown made of the finest wool,

14Which from our pretty lambs we pull;

15Fair lined slippers for the cold,

16With buckles of the purest gold:



17A belt of straw and ivy buds,

18With coral clasps and amber studs;

19And if these pleasures may thee move,

20Come live with me and be my love.



21The shepherd swains shall dance and sing

22For thy delight each May morning;

23If these delights thy mind may move,

24Then live with me and be my love.





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

it was so nice poem
what is all about the poem?

| Posted on 2012-09-23 | by a guest


.: :.

the persona in the poem.. or the one who narrates the story(poem) is not necessarily the author. the persona may or may not be the author itself. this is to clarify those who are confused that sir walter raleigh is actually a homosexual. the persona he created is a girl but that doesn\'t mean that sir walter raleigh is actually a girl.

| Posted on 2012-07-06 | by a guest


.: :.

Thank you for your criticisms and comments.. it did help! really!

| Posted on 2010-06-30 | by a guest


.: :.

What makes the poem an example of pastoral literature?

| Posted on 2010-03-21 | by a guest


.: :.

Marlowe's shepherd may not be speaking to a woman. He never says anything about gender. Refer to Virgil's Eclogue II. It is practically the same thing but not in verse. Virgil talks about a young boy named Alexis whom Corydon is trying to woo. Its a pretty intriguing parallel. "If only you could bring yourself to live with me..." says Corydon... pretty close to the Marlowe's repeated line, no? :]
-jt

| Posted on 2009-12-06 | by a guest


.: :.

In response to Alaa Cali4nia Boy's analysis. I thought it was great and helped a lot, but then I went to another site and found the exact same words. I can't help but detect some plagiarism...
I am a little skeptical about this poem being written about another man, simply because I can't picture a guy wearing a skirt embroidered with myrtle leaves. But hey, when in Rome, I guess...
I must agree though, that the tone of the poem feels like cheap flattery.
--S

| Posted on 2009-11-27 | by a guest


.: :.

This man seems like he is trying to bribe the girl with material things and wording it beautifully in a poem. I like sinmore's comment too, but there is a response poem that I like- "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" by Sir Walter Raleigh. These poems were written close to the year 1600.

| Posted on 2009-10-29 | by a guest


.: :.

This is a nod to classical mythological same sex desire amongst men, most particularly the God Zeus and Ganymede. It is not a heterosexual love poem at all

| Posted on 2009-10-08 | by a guest


.: :.

Analysis :
The speaker in “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” is a shepherd, who pledges to do the impossible if only the female object of his desires will accept his pleas. The poem is static in time, with no history or clearly defined future. Only the present matters. There is never any suggestion that the poet is asking the woman for a long-term commitment; there is no offer of marriage nor does he offer a long-term future together. Instead, he asks her to come and live with him and seek pleasure in the moment. The use of “passionate” in the title suggests strong emotions, but may also refer to an ardent desire to possess the woman sexually, since there is never any declaration of love. The shepherd makes a number of elaborate promises that are generally improbable and occasionally impossible. The woman’s response is never heard, and she is not present in any way except as the object of the shepherd’s desire.
Prior to the composition of “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love,” early English Renaissance poetry had been most concerned with romantic love. These poems, which included poems by Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, were traditional love poems, characterized by the pleas of a rejected suitor who would find solace in the soothing atmosphere of country life. Marlowe tweaked the traditional, transforming it into a more dynamic piece. As a result, Marlowe’s poem remains a long lasting and important example of the Elizabethan poet’s talent. “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” is included in most literature anthologies published for academic use, including the seventh edition of the Norton Anthology of English Literature.
Written by : Alaa Cali4nia Boy

| Posted on 2009-07-28 | by a guest


.: :.

Analysis :
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love’ and ‘Come live with me and be my love’ are poems that show what the poets are willing to offer to their loves if they are to come to live with them.
The words used and pleasures promised to his love make the shepherd seem like a gentleman. It shows that he has good character because he wants to treat and spoil her in a special manner. Although once observed that he can never afford or offer any of these things, I feel that he is a liar, fool and unreasonable man that does not want to face reality. However, the fact that he offers her these pleasures shows that he loves her.
“And I will make thee beds of roses” (line 9). This line can be taken either literally or literary. He extends the extent of what he can do for his love, therefore, this line can be classified as a hyperbole if taken literally.
In the first stanza of “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love,” Marlowe’s speaker, an unidentified shepherd, pleads with an unidentified woman that if she will come and live with him, then all pleasures will be theirs for the taking. The shepherd opens with the invitation: “Come live with me, and be my love.” He is not asking her to marry him but only to live with him. The offer is simply put, and his ease in offering it implies that the woman should just as easily agree. However, since the shepherd is forced to continue with a succession of promises, the reader can assume that the shepherd’s initial offer was not well received.
The shepherd promises the woman pleasures they will experience in all of the pastoral settings that nature can supply. Since he promises that the couple will experience these pleasures in a variety of locations, it appears his expectation is that the pleasures of the world are principally sexual. He is asking the woman to live with him, and for the Elizabethan poet, “Come live with me, and be my love” has the same connotations it would have for a twenty-first-century reader: the female is being invited to come and make love. “Valleys, groves, hills and fields, / Woods, or steepy mountains” are some of the places the shepherd suggests where the woman might yield to him, and where they might both find pleasure. The overt sexuality of this stanza is a departure from the traditional pastoral writings and romantic love poems of Marlowe’s contemporaries, which were not so bold.
The second stanza suggests a time of year for the lovers’ activity, which is likely spring or summer, since they would be outdoors and the shepherd imagines it is pleasant enough to sit and watch the flocks being fed. He proposes that other shepherds will feed his flocks, since with his mistress by his side, he will now be an observer. The shepherd mentions listening to the “Melodious birds sing madrigals.” The singing of birds is often suggestive of spring, since the return of singing birds signals the advent of the new season. Because the first stanza makes clear that the shepherd wants the woman to become his lover, the shift in the second stanza to sitting upon rocks—“And we will sit upon the rocks”—suggests they might partake of the second stanza’s activities after they have made love.
This second stanza, if taken by itself, exemplifies the traditional pastoral theme of the restful shepherd watching his flocks, enjoying in quiet repose the countryside and all it offers. It is the idealization of the pastoral form, in which nature is benign and safe, filled with “shallow rivers” and “melodious birds.” In the early pastoral tradition, the shepherd would be alone, daydreaming about the woman he loves and whom he wishes to court. But in Marlowe’s poem, the introduction of sexual desire inserts the woman into the scene; she too will witness the flocks feeding and enjoy the peacefulness of country life. The isolation of the shepherd is thus removed in Marlowe’s poem.
Written by : Alaa Cali4nia Boy

| Posted on 2009-07-28 | by a guest


.: :.

i like the poem but the guy was failed to marry the lady

| Posted on 2009-06-18 | by a guest


.: :.

i like the poem but the guy was failed to marry the lady

| Posted on 2009-06-18 | by a guest


.: :.

Hahaha! I love sinmore's comment! That's the spirit! Really made me laugh too. Nice you look at the poem taht way! Personally I htink it's cute too. Some ppl really need to chill.

| Posted on 2009-04-16 | by a guest


.: :.

“The Passionate Shepherd To His Love” is a Pastoral Poem that deals with a shepherd asking “His Love” to come and live with him. In an attempt to convince he idealizes love, ignoring entirely the imperfections of it; they do not exist in the world he is trying to offer which is an artificial, simplified, dreamland. The tone that is projected is passionate, eager, desirous, and fanciful with complete ignorance of conflicts and hardships. The theme of the poem is the motif of “Carpe Diem”, seize the day. The narrator of the poem, the shepherd, is only concerned with the present and shows no consideration of the future. The poem is not a proposal of marriage. His idealism is shown through his excessive hyperboles, he over emphasizes the beauty of the landscape and his proposals are not tangible. The narrator symbolizes the peaceful, idealistic love with “melodious birds” singing.
To emphasise his point the writer uses refrain; he repeats, “Come live with me and be my Love”, a total of 3 times in the poem. Each of the six stanzas employs an AABB rhyme scheme. Also, using iambic tetrameter throughout., 8 syllables per line. Iambic foot: unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. The sentence syntax allows special emphasis on the most important word of each sentence, also enabling the AABB rhyme scheme to be more powerful.
The shepherd is absorbed in his fictional world of “springtime love” and is unconcerned with the fact that winter may roll around and any other types of hardship. He only wishes for his love to “Live with [him] and be [his] love”.

| Posted on 2009-02-03 | by a guest


.: :.

The Nymph's Reply To the Shepherd is a criticism of The Passionate Shepherd to His love. -Elix

| Posted on 2008-12-02 | by a guest


.: :.

what are the connections of the passionate spepherd to his love and the nymps reply

| Posted on 2008-08-08 | by a guest


.: :.

Everyone writing about how this guy was amazing is right...but only in the way he uses his clever wit, to take hold of what he wants, her.
Maybe he does have a great way with words, but it’s obvious he is being lustful, and has no future need for her. Throughout the poem there is not one proposal of marriage or any kind of commitment presented. I think that says something. Maybe this guy is like a lot of men, and he is dishing out the sweet talk for a fun night in the sack!

| Posted on 2008-04-24 | by a guest


.: anyone thought... :.

Did anyone think that the word Shepherd in the title may be symbolical as in this may be a pastoral poem due to how it describes nature and the countryside? I think this naive fellow is trying to cinvince a some girl to live with him in the countryside and in some way live the moment (as Carpe Diem is relevant in the Renaissance period) and he is so fallen in love he offers promises like a kid...

| Posted on 2008-04-14 | by a guest


.: fake :.

This poem is another example of Renaissance poets make exaggerating. Apparently life itself is not good enough, it must be made into something it's not. In this poem, the shepherd is making their future life into something it won't actually be. Is he really going to make her a bed of roses? How can s shepherd afford gold clasps for slippers? This poem is full of empty promises. Love promises enough happiness that I don't see why it must be exaggerated.

| Posted on 2008-02-07 | by a guest


.: .. :.

u guys dont make sense at all. wuts the point of using this website when ..it doesnt really explain ..

| Posted on 2008-02-07 | by a guest


.: shepherd :.

I just think that this poem is so sweet, a little too sweet perhaps in some parts, but overall a very sincere an honest poem spoken from the heart of this poor shepherd. I didn’t once think that he was trying to woo her with worldly posessions and unrealistic promises of riches.
I got the impression that he was merely so desperately trying to convince her that he loved her so passionately and verfently that if he could proved her with all of this he would. Unless she is an absolute idiot she must already be well aware that a poor shepherd couldn’t afford “Fair linèd slippers for the cold, With buckles of the purest gold. “ (l. 15) or silver dishes and ivory tables to eat their meals off, “Thy silver dishes for thy meat/ As precious as the gods do eat, / Shall on an ivory table be” (l. 21-23).

Perhaps the narrator is a bit naïve and extremely optimistic in thinking that everything will work out for him and his lover without any obstaicales. Throughout the poem there is no mention of anything which would test or strain their love to make it stronger, i.e perhaps rebellious lambs that are reluctant to hand over their wool for her “A gown made of the finest wool”. However, perhaps the shepherd is only fairly young and has his blinkers and cant see the hurdles ahead, refusing to see beyond the point of convincing her to be his wife.
Whatever the reason for his lack of forsight, still think tha it is a lovely poem and although I personally wouldn’t be rushing to be the sheep queen I can still appreciate the sentiment nonetheless.


| Posted on 2007-06-05 | by a guest


.: Get it right :.

There are so many flaws in this poem. These are mainly picked out in 'The Nymph's Reply To The Shephard' by Sir Walter Raleigh. That is a much more clever piece of poetry.
Marlowe promises her things that will soon whither away - maybe reflecting their relationship and Unrealistic things such as 'a thousand fragrant posies'. Suggesting a touch of despiration?
He is obviously just trying to entice her into bed. There is no clear definition of any future or even a declaration of love.
If you really want to see a clever piece of writing read 'The Nymph's reply ...'

| Posted on 2007-05-31 | by a guest


.: Get it right :.

There are so many flaws in this poem. These are mainly picked out in 'The Nymph's Reply To The Shephard' by Sir Walter Raleigh. That is a much more clever piece of poetry.
Marlowe promises her things that will soon whither away - maybe reflecting their relationship and Unrealistic things such as 'a thousand fragrant posies'. Suggesting a touch of despiration?
He is obviously just trying to entice her into bed. There is no clear definition of any future or even a declaration of love.
If you really want to see a clever piece of writing read 'The Nymph's reply ...'

| Posted on 2007-05-31 | by a guest


.: :.

Hi my name is Kaylee. I am a senoir at Algonac highschool. I have to write a three page paper analysing this piece. I just want to know... what is the real meaning of this poem? Does he truely love her or is he just trying to get her in the sack... I find it very hard for this man to claim his love for a woman who does not love him back? I don't love anyone that doesn't love me back... and does he even know this girl or is he just some sort of stalker?

| Posted on 2007-05-18 | by a guest


.: In response :.

I'm glad you liked the poem so much, but I had a good laugh when you wrote:"I bet he was QUITE popular with the ladies" and "bet he married this one and they lived happily ever after" - The author is a full blown homosexual. Not that it takes away from the poem, I'm just replaying to your comments; I had a good laugh.

But for sure, I like this poem too. But it's a little too mooshy for me though.

| Posted on 2007-04-23 | by a guest


.: In response :.

I'm glad you liked the poem so much, but I had a good laugh when you wrote:"I bet he was QUITE popular with the ladies" and "bet he married this one and they lived happily ever after" - The author is a full blown homosexual. Not that it takes away from the poem, I'm just replaying to your comments; I had a good laugh.

But for sure, I like this poem too. But it's a little too mooshy for me though.

| Posted on 2007-04-23 | by a guest


.: Analysis :.

i think this is an amazing poem about a man's connection with nature and his complete understing of natural beauty and his strong desire to share it with one he loves. His value of the world around him is shown when he offers to his love not money but true happiness which can only come when one disregards the stiff lifestile of the material world and joins the dreamland of mother nature. It also tells us that love is something that is in tune with nature and is nature. It is light and airy in it's speech and very touching while remaining comprehendible.

| Posted on 2006-02-15 | by Approved Guest


.: you're wrong :.

if anyone thinks that this poem has noe techniques or flaws is ignorant. First of all, how about The fact that it's a pastoral poem? That's a technique. And how about the rhyme scheme? Not to mention Marlowe's conceit. Do you really think that this is a lovely little poem is about a shepherd's love? Come on. Both Marlowe and the reader should understand his conceit and surreal imagery. The whole bloody thing is a caricature. jeez, I don't normally post these sort of things, but when people who have no educated poetic background make such claims, it's hard to resist.

| Posted on 2005-05-02 | by Approved Guest


.: :.

Okay, I get it geeze man lighten up. I wanna start by saying that this was a fabulous piece, so old-timey, yet also timeless as love and observation of it is.
1Come live with me and be my love,
2And we will all the pleasures prove,
3That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
4Woods, or steepy mountain yields.
I wish a thousand times I could have come up with something this brainy and colorful to say to my lover. This is perfect lovestruck beauty, I am entranced. And how the ryhming is perfect, this I could learn from, yes. Oh yes.

5And we will sit upon the rocks,
6Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
7By shallow rivers, to whose falls
8Melodious birds sing madrigals.

Oh my god, this guy is amazing, I bet he was QUITE popular with the ladies, tongue of an angel here, no doubt. So natural, he brings me right back to my childhood where I'm totally free and innocent. So natural like he was really plugged in to mother nature. This is something else.

9And I will make thee beds of roses,
10And a thousand fragrant posies,
11A cap of flowers and a kirtle
12Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle:

I'm just speechless here. This is immaculate. I will be saving this to give to MY love. Oh yes. I don't know when this was written and I don't care but this guy knows his stuff that much is clear.

13A gown made of the finest wool,
14Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
15Fair lined slippers for the cold,
16With buckles of the purest gold:

This guy is a shepard pimp. And a superb writer. I shall never be of this quality. Though I will be striving for this kind of perfection and humblesness.

17A belt of straw and ivy buds,
18With coral clasps and amber studs;
19And if these pleasures may thee move,
20Come live with me and be my love.

Hell yeah, I bet he married this one and they lived happily ever after. This is forever in my mind now.

21The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
22For thy delight each May morning;
23If these delights thy mind may move,
24Then live with me and be my love.

Man this has been a totally unique experience for me, never read this one before. Never even heard of the guy before, but I will never forget. I am left awestruck and enlightened feeling. Oh yes. -sin

| Posted on 2005-01-29 | by sinmore




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