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The Emotional vs. the Rational: Comparion of The Nymph´s Reply to Her Shepherd and The Passionate Shephard to His Love

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The Emotional versus the Rational: A Literary Analysis and Comparison between Sir Walter Raleigh’s “The Nymph’s Reply to Her Shepherd” and Christopher Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” "Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow"—Horace Horace’s statement on first glance, especially in light of treatment of thematic issues related to carpe diem poetry, might have a ring of truth to it, and might appear to be a reasonable and logical statement. It puts forward the viewpoint that one should "seize the day" since "tomorrow" is uncertain. Nevertheless, one can also argue from the viewpoint that because of the fleeting nature of time, it is not reasonable to seize the day since a person's accomplishments and…show more content…
Debora B. Schwartz in her article, "Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Comedy" highlights the fact that the major themes which are typically discussed in pastoral poetry include: "love and seduction;… the corruption of the city or court vs. the ‘purity’ of idealized country life…" (par. 2). In the poem, "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love," the theme of the "'purity' of idealized country life" is explored when the male persona attempts to use words which conjure up images of an paradise which he and his love interest can escape to sexually gratify each other. The male persona entices his love interest to "come live" with him and be his love (l. 1). He desires that he and his lover's "prove" the various "pleasures" that "woods or steepy mountain yields" (ll. 2, 4). This argument is rebuffed by the female persona in the poem, "The Nymph's Reply to Her Husband," when she states the following: "Time drives the flocks from field to fold, /When rivers rage and rocks grow cold" (ll. 5-6). It should be noted that these lines reflect the following lines of Marlowe's poem: "And we will sit upon the rocks, / seeing the shepherds feed their flocks/ by shallow rivers…" (ll. 5-7). The female persona undermines the shepherd's idealization of the countryside and pastoral life since the passage of time, depicted by the seasons, will change the characteristics of these things described so positively by the male persona in Marlowe's poem. Additionally, the theme of seduction is
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