The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd Essay

Walter Raleigh (professor)
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Taibl has published widely in poetic studies. In the following essay, she explores Raleigh's poem as a companion poem exposing the conventions and escapism of the pastoral form and questioning the romanticized notion of the simple life.

Sir Walter Raleigh's poem, "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd," is one of the most celebrated companion poems in all of English literature as it responds to and challenges Christopher Marlowe's poem, "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love." Raleigh's poem engages the earlier poem in a dialogue that challenges the validity of the Elizabethan romantics' preoccupation for the pastoral, or the idyllic, simple life. Raleigh points toward a more complex and realistic understanding of life that is subject to darkness and the inevitable progression of time. Raleigh uses the conventions of Marlowe's poem to mock the idealized picture of nature for which Marlowe argues. By subverting the content of Marlowe's poem...

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This section contains 1,798 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.