For all the poetic devices used in "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love," metaphor is one of the least utilized. The shepherd's descriptions of the many pleasures of living simply in the natural world are literal descriptions of concrete objects, after all. However, some features of the poem could be viewed in a metaphorical light, such as the "beds of Roses" the shepherd promises to make for his beloved.
While many of the objects the shepherd describes are literal objects one could see being given to a person, such as gold-buckled shoes with warm lining or a gown made from sheep's wool, a bed of roses is not likely to be a literal gift. Roses are the traditional symbol for love, particularly romantic love, and the bed is a piece of furniture with sexual connotations since that is where the act of love is generally performed. So the beds of roses could, therefore, be a sexual metaphor, the promise of erotic fulfillment in a picturesque setting.
On the whole, the poem could be seen as an...
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