Poem Reflection: “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlow

“The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlow is about love and the narrator trying to win over his love. This can be viewed as the literal meaning of the poem. He is describing the things he would do for her “And I will make thee beds of Roses” (Marlow, 9), “A gown made of the finest wool” (Marlow, 13). Love is universal, and mostly a feel good feeling. Rhyme, rhyme scheme is the overall pattern of rhyme in a poem (Kent-Drury) and is used in every stanza. In Marlow’s poem it is specifically a couplet with the lines being paired. Because rhyming flows naturally and love is positive feeling, the overall mood of this poem is a feel good one.  Throughout the poem he continues to try and win over her love, but continuously uses references to his shepherding “Which from our pretty Lambs we pull” (Marlow, 14). This could be viewed as symbolism “an object or action that carries with it meaning that goes beyond the object or action itself.” (Kent-Drury) Marlow mentions shepherd in every stanza of his poem, whether specifically referencing them or their wool, or the pastures on which they will be. Why does he use this? He is ensuring that although he wants woman to love him, he needs her to know that shepherding is his love too.

 

Work Cited

Kent-Drury, Roxanne. Analyzing Poetry. https://www.nku.edu/~rkdrury/poetryexplication.html#Rhyme. Assessed 22 Sep 2017

Muller, Gilbert H. and John A. Williams. “Reading and Responding to Literature and Film.” ENGL 200: Composition and Literature. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. 2-18. Web. 12 August 2011