This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.
Christopher Marlowe's "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" fits perfectly into the poetic genre of the period.
Over the centuries, Marlowes little poem has enjoyed widespread popularity because it captures the joy of simple, uncomplicated love.
The shepherd does not worry whether his status makes him acceptable to the girl; nor does he appear concerned about money or education.
Already there are promises being given to the as of yet unnamed love, only alluded to in the poem’s title.
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The speaker is already using a rather seductive tone to allure his love, and even though it is Birds, can, of course not sing praises and certainly not to a specific subject.
Personifying a bird in this way, however, lends majesty to the overall impression of the scene.
The third stanza begins with “And I will make thee beds of roses” (Marlowe line 9) which interestingly begins to show the shepherd’s promise to cater to the nymph’s most basic of facilities in a romantic and alluring manner.
Among these responses was Sir Walter Raleigh's "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" (date unknown, but thought to be about 1592), which provides the woman's response to Marlowe's shepherd.
Marlowe's poem also inspired several other notable works that were similar in tone and content, including John Donne's "The Bait" (1633), which also relies upon wit and sexuality to entertain the reader.