ChristopherMarlowe was born in England in 1564 the Elizabethan era.
He only lived for 29years. He went to school and got a scholarship that got him into Corpus ChristiCollege, graduated in 1587. He earned his art degree in 1584. There wassuspension that he was a spy. After he graduated, he moved to London where hewrote his first play. He wrote plenty of plays when he was living in London.There were rumors that he has done a crime. On May 20, 1593, he was arrested.
He did not go to jail but he simply had to report to an officer every day. Tendays later Ingram Frizer killed him. Conspiracy theories say that Ingramrecruited Christopher as a spy, they go into a fight over a bill and Ingramstab him. Nobody knows the real reason he died. In 1599 “The PassionateShepherd to his love” was published. Christopher was an English poet buthe wrote short stories too. The poem is about a shepherd trying to woo I amassuming a woman to live with him. He tries to convince her all the things shecan have if she comes with him.
He tells her the positive things in his world.The way Christopher Marlowe makes the shepherd explain his love is innocent.”I will make the beds of roses and a thousand fragrant posies, a cap offlowers, and a kirtle Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle.” The wordchoices are sweet and romantic. The poem also has a rhyming scheme. Every twolines in each stanza rhymes. The rhythm sounds like a song. Themood in this poem is dreamlike.
The way the shepherd talks to his lover ischivalrous. In the first stanza, the shepherd invites his lover to come staywith him. The line “pleasure proves” gives off a sexual impressionbut innocent. He implies the countryside will have pleasure for her and him. Hesuggests their entertainment would be sitting on rocks by the rivers, feedingthe birds, and making pretty things for her. He also tells her what he can giveher. He states, “A gown made of finest wool Which from our pretty lambs wepull.” The shepherd goes on and on about all the finest things he can makefor her.
In my opinion, that is romance. I say that because it seems theshepherd does not have much so he can only make her things from nature. The setting of this story is the countryside.All the natural imagery he describes even sounds romantic from the valleys, tothe birds, and rivers.
“By Shallow River to whose falls, melodious birdssing madrigals.” The season seems to be in summer maybe spring. Theshepherd describes his world so adoringly making it seem like a perfect placefor lovers. Nature is seductive in my opinion. Not only is it seductive but itis also peaceful. He promises all this beauty to his beloved he talks aboutnature to put emphasis on her beauty. Every word said is passionate.
He desiresthis woman so much that he is willing to give her whatever she wants. In everystanza, he tells the woman, what they can do or what he can do for her. Christopher Marlowe symbolism flowers in thepoem: myrtle, roses, amber, and coral. The flower myrtle is linked love,affection, and happiness.
In the old days, brides used it for bridal garlands. InVictorian era, Myrtle was associated with duty, affection, discipline, andhome. In the world of superstition, if you dream of the plant it means manypartners and inheritance. Coral symbolizes life energy and known as the gardenof the sea. It can be used as décor. People believed it protected them fromillness if worn as a necklace.
The rose has different meaning depending on thecolor. White rose means innocence and red rose means desire. It is alsoaffiliated with a Greek goddess Aphrodite, goddess of love. Amber is also usedin Greek mythology. To them, Amber came from the apples of immortality.
Amberwas believed to give protection and give longer life. Thispoem describes how deep the shepherd desires this woman to come live with him.This poem is easy to understand because of the word choice.
The overall poem isabout love and innocence. I also feel as if the poem is exaggerated. It ratherseems as if the shepherd only wants this woman for just a short period becausehe never talks about marrying her. The shepherd says all the romanticfantasy-like things so the woman can just agree to come with him. He promisesher a life full of pleasures and gifts.
The shepherd is not living lavishly ashe makes it seem. Besides that, he makes her appreciate how beautiful natureis.