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Compare Christopher Marlowe with Greg Smenda Essay

The passion for romance is something for human beings for thousands and thousands of years has never been changed, they always willing to give the best they have to their love, in order to move their hearts immediately. Both of the poem of “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” and “The Passionate Astronaut to His Love” are showing the addressers’ patronal romance like others did. However, with the change of time setting, to scene can be so different. One is more classic and humanity and the other one is more modern and technical.


In”The Passionate Shepherd to His Love”, the first line of the first stanza, the shepherd makes gently and directly calls to his love. The Shepherd invites his love to come with him and “pleasures prove” (line 2.) This immediate reference to pleasure gives a mildly romantic tone to this poem. He implies that the entire landscape of the countryside of England “Valleys, groves, hills and fields/Woods or steeply mountains” will prove to contain pleasure of all kinds for the lovers. He use the beauty of nature to offer his love. It’s a very common theme in pastoral poetry. The next stanza suggests that the lovers will take their entertainment not in a theatre or at a banquet, but sitting upon rocks or by rivers.

The third, fourth, and fifth stanzas are a kind of list of the “delights”, mostly sartorial, that the Shepherd will make for his love. The list of the things he will make for his lady reveal a great deal about the situation of the “Shepherd” and what he can offer his love. But in reality this increasingly fanciful list of gifts such as the gold buckles, the coral clasps, and the amber studs could only come from a member of the gentry, or a merchant in a town. The fantasy of bucolic paradise is entirely idealized. Incidentally, the plants mentioned (roses, flowers, and myrtle) are conventional horticultural expressions of romance. The rose, especially, was sacred to the goddess Venus (and it is how roses have come to symbolize┬áromantic love in some modern Western cultures.)

The image of the Shepherd as a member of the gentry becomes complete when, in the last stanza, it is said “The shepherd swains shall dance and sing/ for thy delight each May-morning.” The picture here is of other shepherds doing the speaker’s bidding. The poem ends with an “if” statement, and contains a slightly somber note. There is no guarantee that the lady will find these country enticements enough to follow the Shepherd, and since the construction of them is preposterous and fantastical to begin with, the reader is left with the very real possibility that the Shepherd will be disappointed.


Passionate Shepherd to His Love was appealing to a popular genre in Elizabethan England countryside. On reading on Greg Smenda’s parody of the poem, it’s obvious that he is appealing to a more modern reader. The timeline was in 1960s when space invention was popular. The intention of the two poems is very different. It mining the movement of desire.


By looking at the title, reader can pick up easily it’s a parody. They both have the same structure of total six stanzas and four lines each. They also use similar words and phrases such as the first stanza starts with ‘Come live with me and be my mate’ similar words but Smenda used mate which sound less romantic than love. Both of them makes directly calls to their love. He invites his mate to come with him, but instead of ‘pleasures prove’ it’s ‘pleasure spate’ which gives a sense of horror instead of romance. He implies that the entire landscape of the moon which doesn’t sound particularly romantic, but he offer what he think is the best. Space is very popular topic at that time. The next stanza also suggest that the lovers will take their entertainment, but is sitting on lunar crust, beside some crater holes with engines humming which sounds awful.

The third, fourth, and fifth stanzas are also kind of list of the ‘delights’ that the Astronaut will make for his lady love, but they doesn’t make a great deal about the situation of the ‘Astronaut’ and what he can offer to his love. A bed of plastic is easy to reach and doesn’t sound comfortable to sleep on. For an astronaut, a space suit is also easily available. In reality the gift he offered sounds good but they are not comparable than any sorts of treasures. The plastic, especially, was not aesthetically pleasing and doesn’t have the connection with romance at all.

The image of the Astronaut becomes complete when, in the last stanza, it is said ‘The astronaut colony shall for you sing’ the picture here is also of other astronaut doing the speaker’s bidding. The poem is also end with an ‘if’ statement, but add a very strong phrases with an exclamation mark at the very end, so the reader is left with a very positive feeling that the Astronaut will be accepted.


Even though these two poem are based on the same structure and same sense of emergent for inviting their love one, they have completely different feeling. Marlowe’s poem can be described as classic and humanity, but Smenda’s poem can be described as modern and technical. So it’s clear that The Passionate Shepherd to His Love is more romantic than The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.

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