What is it that makes "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" by Christopher Marlowe an example of pastoral literature?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

A major theme of pastoral literature is that true happiness can be found in rural areas.  The city is a bad place, but the country is pure and good.  I think you can see this (at least the part about the country being good) in this poem.

Look at what the shepherd is offerring.  It is all pretty much rural stuff.  The only thing that doesn't sound rural is the buckles of gold for the slippers.

In general, then, the idea seems to be that the shepherd and his love can be made happy by all this rural stuff.  This implies that rural life is good and satisfying.

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nemonotes's profile pic

nemonotes | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

Relating to your question, how does the description of rural life in "The Nymph's Reply" mock the first poem's idealistic details?