Thomas Campion: Poems

The 'Ideal' in Campion and Marlowe 11th Grade

Thomas Campion and Christopher Marlowe have explored the concept of ‘the ideal’ in ‘A Man of Life Upright’ and ‘Come Live with me, and be my Love,’ respectively. Campion delves into the idea that a man may be more content in life by upholding strong morality. In ‘Come Live with me, and be my Love,’ Marlowe poses a contradictory view, expressing the notion that ‘the ideal’ may be achieved through the acquisition and appreciation of material wealth. Despite their contrasting views, both poems discuss the similar idea that striving towards contentment is the greatest way a person can spend life, and that ‘the ideal’ is the fundamental human purpose.

It is a common misconception that by achieving wealth and physical success, one will become content and be able to live a satisfied life. Thomas Campion’s ‘A Man of Life Upright’ disputes this idea. His poem portrays the concept that ‘the ideal’ life is achieved not through material possessions but through strong morals. The use of connotation expresses this sentiment: “Whose guiltless heart is free” conveys the peace that upholding sound values will bring to one’s life, while “dishonest deeds” has a heavy, negative connotation that helps to express the burden impurity can have. ‘A Man...

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