Christopher Marlowe's Poems

Central Themes of The Passionate Shepherd to his Love and The Nymph's Reply 10th Grade

The poems “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” by Sir William Raleigh, and “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe have the same central theme, that love and nature are beautiful but don’t last forever. Both authors use literary elements to support this central idea.

In “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd”, Raleigh uses imagery and conflict to convey his central idea of love and nature are beautiful, but don’t last forever. In line 6 of the poem, the Nymph replies “When rivers rage and rocks grow cold”. This is an example of imagery and conflict at the same time. The nature won’t stay appealing forever. The leaves will wither away with winter, the rocks will be unused and covered in snow, and the river will rush by, moving too fast to be beautiful. The nymph could also be referencing the shepherd’s heart as the rocks, and the river as him, moving past her too fast, leaving her behind. This is an example of a metaphor, because it doesn’t use like or as in the phrase. His heart is the rock, because it grows cold and hard as time passes, and he is the river, getting over her and what drew him to her in the first place:...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1621 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10724 literature essays, 2693 sample college application essays, 624 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in