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What argument is the shepherd making in “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by...

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Josh43 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 30, 2013 at 3:03 PM via web

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What argument is the shepherd making in “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe? 

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 30, 2013 at 3:37 PM (Answer #1)

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The shepherd narrator in Christopher Marlowe's "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" is making a simple request of the woman he loves: please come and live with me forever.

To make this case, the shepherd tries to persuade her that they will have a lovely life together by drawing her a picture, using all the senses, of what their life together will be like.

First they will sit upon the rocks each day, watching the shepherds herd their flocks, enjoying the scenery, and listening to the songs of the birds around them.

Second, he will make her a fragrant garden and all the lovely clothing she could ever wish for:

A cap of flowers, and a kirtle   Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.      A gown made of the finest wool   Which from our pretty lambs we pull,   Fair linèd slippers for the cold,   15 With buckles of the purest gold.      A belt of straw and ivy buds   With coral clasps and amber studs:

Finally, he will see to it that the finest foods will be prepared for her each day and laid out on a fine table on which they can feast. She will be entertained and sung to, as well.

If, he says, she is moved by these things, she should live with him and be his love. He has given her pastoral delights which appeal to each of her senses, and he hopes that will be enough to persuade her to leave her life and come to live with him. 

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