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The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd Essay & Criticism

Walter Raleigh (professor)
This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd.
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Critical Overview

Rather than a simple song, "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" is considered an example of Raleigh's skepticism. "Memento mori," or recognition of death, and "tempus edax," or "devouring time," are important concepts for understanding Raleigh. He questioned everything, including the religious and political ideas of his time and the premises of the courtly love tradition. Many have contrasted Christopher Marlowe's "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" with "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd." Jerry Leath Mills has called it a "witty and sardonic" response to Marlowe's poem, by pointedly demonstrating "the human propensity for self-delusion." While Marlowe emphasizes the pleasures of "living and loving" and presents the shared life as a "garden of earthly delights," Raleigh emphasizes the inevitability of change. And while Marlowe presents nature as a place for seduction and pleasure, Raleigh depicts the grim fact of decay. Raleigh is thought by critics such as...

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This section contains 204 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd Study Guide
Copyrights
The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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