Compare the personas of the two poems: "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" by Marlowe and "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" by Sir Walter Raleigh.

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In Marlowe's poem the shepherd is the protagonist. He is the one who attempts to persuade his lover to come away with him for a life of Edenic rural bliss. In Raleigh's rejoinder, however, the roles are reversed. Now it is the nymph's turn to point out the practical flaws in the shepherd's elaborate scheme. For one thing, the swain is mortal, while the nymph immortal. No matter how pretty the shepherd and the natural world may be at this precise moment, in due course they will both fade and decay. As an immortal, the nymph can spend all eternity surrounded by beauty that will never die. So all things considered, the shepherd's generous offer doesn't really amount to all that much.

The object of the shepherd's love and affection is a passive character. We never get to know anything about her, or find out what she wants out of a relationship. Raleigh's nymph, on the other hand, is an assertive character, leaving the hapless swain in little doubt as to what she wants out of life. (Or more accurately speaking, eternity.)

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The persona of the passionate shepherd is a dreamer and idealist who is trying to persuade his beloved to run off with him to live in nature. He sees only the bright side of living in the natural world with his lover. For him, nature is an eternal spring of May dances and flowers blooming, a place of endless pleasure:
And I will make thee beds of Roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of Myrtle
The persona of the Nymph, however, whom the passionate shepherd is trying to persuade to run off with him, is a realist. She sees the downside of living in nature. Winter comes and flowers fade. Love too fades. She responds to the shepherd by saying,
Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of Roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten
The Nymph says that if people didn't age, and time stood still so that it could be an eternal spring, and if people didn't fall out of love, she might consider running off with him. She is like the shepherd in agreeing that running off to live in nature is a splendid idea—when the weather and circumstances are bright.
The Nymph represents the prudence of woman's perspective. She must think about the consequences of love, such as pregnancy and abandonment when passion fades. The shepherd represents the male point of view of living in the moment, pursuing passion, perhaps misrepresenting reality to get his way and not thinking through the consequences of his actions.
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