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Man vs. Woman

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ayyaahh
Words 2211
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Man vs. Woman?

When poets decide how they want to express their ideas and opinions, they often use personas, which may or may not be themselves. The main persona in Christopher Marlowe’s poem, “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” makes promises to the intended audience to stay by his side. In contrast, the main persona in Sir Walter Raleigh’s poem, “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” appears to respond to that of Marlowe’s poem in a negative tone. Because of the nature of both poems, Marlowe’s poem has a masculine voice, whereas Raleigh’s poem has a feminine voice. The history of the poem and the way it was written can help decipher whether if the poem was a masculine tone or a feminine tone, or even the each way gender reacts to the idea of courting presently in comparison to how the poets interpreted courting.

Both poems were published during the late 17th century and the early 18th century. A critical essay written by Sheri E. Metzger states that “the great Elizabethan lyric sequences typically begin by identifying the poet's mistress as the primary lyric audience” and this quote shows that during the Elizabethan time period many of the lyrics of poems written would refer their mistresses as the audience. Poems were a very popular way of courting members of the opposite sex. Both poems were a way for the poet to show their emotions to their lovers. Marlowe attempted to do this by expressing the many things he had to offer to his love in order for her to come by his side. They were not just things that an ordinary person would be able to offer, but it was something far beyond normal. Another reason that a poet would have for writing a poem would be to compete amongst his fellow poets. Raleigh decided to respond to Marlowe’s poem by giving the perspective of the opposite love, which can also be known as the Nymph, but the Nymph then rejects the Shepherd’s…...

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