"The Passionate Shepherd to His Love"What does the Shepherd offer to his love?   In examining the author’s use of words, how would they be described,-harsh or soft? Give examples ***specific...

"The Passionate Shepherd to His Love"

What does the Shepherd offer to his love?

 

In examining the author’s use of words, how would they be described,-harsh or soft? Give examples

***specific answers please***

Expert Answers
accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This poem fits into a group of poems classed as "carpe diem" poems - where the audience of the poem is urged to "seize the day" and make a decision to commit to a relationship now before time and death make such a decision impossible. Based on this scenario, the words that the shepherd uses in his appeal are designed to be soft and appealing. The speaker of the poem describes some of the simple, pastoral pleasures of the countryside, but without making any reference to the hardships of life in the countryside.

For example the shepherd promises his love that he will "make thee beds of roses, / And a thousand fragrant posies" and other such items as tokens of his love. The shepherd paints an attractive and beautiful image of the life that he and his love will have together:

And we will sit upon the rocks,

Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks

By shallow rivers, to whose falls

Melodious birds sing madrigals.

The speaker concludes his appeal, having listed these delights, by saying:

If these delights thy mind may move,

Then live with me, and be my love.

Thus the speaker envisions a life of carefree pleasure and joy. He will make his love clothes from countryside materials, such as wool and flowers, and they will spend their time indulging in pastoral pursuits, such as watching shepherds dance and sing. A perfect unending summer world is created where the shepherd and his love can dwell for all eternity. Of course, critics are right in identifying the limitations of this view, and Sir Walter Raleigh´s famous poem, "The Nymph´s Reply to the Shepherd" is a more cynical response to these claims.

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The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

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