Compare And Contrast
Many differences occur between the poem, “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” and “The Nymph to the Shepherd.” These differences are mostly with themes, imagery, and diction. “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” was written by Christopher Marlowe and it was the first written of the two poems. “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” was written in response to that poem, but it was written by Sir Walter Raleigh.
The themes to these two poems vary greatly. “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” carries the theme that love conquers all. The shepherd is so in love with this maiden. He begs her to come live with him and allow him to take care of her. He promises her all the material things imaginable. It seems like his thinking was if he could give her lots and lots of material things, that would prove his love to her, and all those things would be sufficient to make her happy (Kirszner, 1203). The reply to the shepherd is not what the shepherd was hoping for. In “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd,” it seems that the nymph does not believe the shepherd based on the second line, “And truth in every shepherd’s tongue” (Kirszner, 1216). Basically, the theme of the second poem is that the nymph feels that there is more to love than material things. She talks about how seasons change in life and material things fade away or wear out. She realizes that it takes more than things to create a lasting, romantic relationship. She tells the shepherd that she does not love him in the way that he loves her. She tells the shepherd that she would possibly love him if nature and love were timeless. Page 2
The next difference in these two poems is the use of diction and the way that these two poems are written. “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” is written in simple stanza form with rhyming couplets. The replying poem is written in similar form but it refers to the rhetorical reasoning of what the shepherd has to offer. The...