The Passionate Shepherd to His Love Questions and Answers
by Christopher Marlowe

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How is the romantic escape motif in "The Passionate Shepherd to his Love" used in todays media?

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The escape motif present in this poem is definitely captured in many media forms today. You need to remember that this poem is a pastoral poem. Pastoral poems are always set in an idealised countryside inhabited by ruggedly handsome shepherds and stunningly beautiful women (or nymphs). These characters all live idyllic lives in harmony with their environment. Of course, what these poems completely do is ignore the reality of such romantic escapes - life in the countryside, especially in Marlowe´s time would be incredibly hard work for both the man and woman in the relationship. Some of these elements are raised in Sir Walter Raleigh´s poem which he wrote in response to Marlowe, entitled, "The Nymph´s Reply to the Shepherd". Of course we can all think of many adverts or films or examples of literature where the lovers escape and have a romantic ending - no reference is made to the harshness of such an escape and the disadvantages to such a new life.

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