The Passionate Sheperd

Topics: Poetry, Elizabeth I of England, Christopher Marlowe Pages: 4 (824 words) Published: January 30, 2013

a. Background on the author
Christopher Marlowe is the author of “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.” He was to become the first great poet of the theatre’s second great age. His life, much like of his characters, would be short and violent. The poem was originated from England. b. Background on the text

It was written during the Elizabethan Era or the Renaissance Period. During this time, there was an argument in England about the reign of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Elizabeth’s protestant regime. The text was published in 1599, six years after Marlowe died.


The Shepherd is inviting the Nymph to live with him and be his love and “pleasures prove.” This is stated in a sexual tone to the poem but it is of total innocence and almost naïve kind. He offered to live peacefully in the countryside of England. They will live happily and will watch the beautiful nature. They will see the things which are early people used to do. He continues to encourage the Nymph and pursue to change the Nymph’s decision that she will love the place and the other ideals of the Shepherd. He offers his love whole-heartedly and asks again the Nymph to change her decision to come and live with the Shepherd.


The Passionate Shepherd to His Love has two themes: the carpe diem which means “seize the day” and the immediate gratification of their sexual passions.

The motif of the poem is all about love. The poem expresses feelings and emotions of the Shepherd to his love in an idyllic setting.

The symbols used are the “pleasures prove” (the sexual desire), madrigals (poems set to music and sung by two to six voices with a single melody or interweaving melodies) kirtle (dress or skirt), myrtle (a shrub with evergreen leaves, white or pink flowers, and dark berries. In Greek mythology it is a symbol of love), coral (yellowish red), amber (yellow or brownish yellow) and swains (country youths).

The form of poetry that the poem has is...
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