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

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In which stanza does the speaker make offers to his beloved that it will be unlikely he could provide in "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love?" 

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The entire poem is hyperbolic. It is an exaggerated description of a place that is probably too good to be true. So, in that general respect, every stanza offers promises that would be difficult for the speaker to deliver. In the first stanza, he basically promises that they will make love in every part of the landscape. And the second stanza continues this evocation of an ideal landscape. These two stanzas don't suggest anything impossible, but the speaker shows audacity when he claims he will be able to "pleasure" his love anywhere and everywhere. 

In the third stanza, the speaker starts to offer things he probably can not provide. He offers to make "beds" (plural) of Roses and a "thousand fragrant posies." Making these many beds is not impossible but it is logistically improbable. Note that he keeps going with these promises and this suggests that he was initially turned down. He keeps upping the ante to convince her. He will make her a gown of "the finest wool" and will decorate it with foliage (myrtle). Again, this is not impossible but it would be difficult. 

We don't know if the speaker is rich. Whether he is or not, making "buckles of the purest gold" would be quite difficult. This is in the fourth stanza. Just obtaining the finest wool and enough pure gold to make the buckles would be difficult. In stanzas 3-5, the speaker promises to clothe his love in an extravagant arrangement of flowers, wool, and gold. Does he really mean to make this assortment of garments or is it all a ploy to win her over? 

 

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