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Pleasures Do Not Happiness Offer

Happiness in life comes from coping with its real challenges. No real happiness can be found by simply living pleasurably and without care. Pleasures are temporary and ignoring problems will only postpone attending to bigger ones in the future. Eventually to live life happily we need means not only to make it enjoyable but to make it sustainable. In Christopher Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” writer portrays an immature and superficial view of how life is to be lived.

In Sir Walter Raleigh’s poem “The Nymph’s Reply”, rejects the proposal of the shepherd on the basis of the fact that what he has to offer is too fragile and immature to sustain life on the long term. In “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love”, the poet uses the imagery of beautiful rustic landscapes in sunny weather to paint a picture of the ideal life; a life of pleasure, a life free from care and a life full of youthful joys. In order to bring forward the image of all-encompassing and various types of gratifications, the poet offers enjoyment wherever the lovers may find themselves, in valleys, fields, hills, groves, woods or mountains.

Then the image of comfort is evoked in the lover’s mind; watching the beauty of nature while draped comfortably in fine materials; the singing of birds, the beds of roses, the cap of flowers, the fine woolen gown and comfortable slippers, the precious ornaments. Finally, the poet expresses the idea of eternal youthful joy by mentioning that shepherds “shall dance and sing for thy delight each May morning(Marlowe)” implying a life that is forever sunny and forever morning.

In “The Nymph’s Reply” the poet uses the same type of imagery but with darkened images of raging rivers, cold rocks and faded flowers. This serves to counter the images presented by the first poem, and to invalidate its premises on the meaning of life. Throughout the poem, the author tears down the illusions painted by the first poem “a honey tongue, a heart of gall is fancy’s spring but sorrow’s fall(Raleigh)”. A parallel is drawn also between the permanence of material things and the promises of the shepherd which “Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten, in folly ripe, in reason rotten(Raleigh).

” The picture painted by Raleigh’s response is the shadow of reality cast over the childish notions of the immature. “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” and “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” represent actually the positive and negative poles at whose center life progresses. The shepherd’s side is the ideal view of life and from the nymph’s point of view we see extreme realism. One point of view could not exist without the other just as no decline is possible without progress.

Somewhere in between the shepherd’s naiveness and the nymph’s cynicism, the appropriate attitude to life may be discovered, an attitude which draws something from the generosity of the shepherd and something from the judmentalism of the nymph. References Marlowe,Christopher. “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love. ” (4 May, 2009). Retrieved 6 June, 2009 from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/The_Passionate_Shepherd_to_His_Love Raleigh, Walter. “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd”. (11 April, 2009). Retrieved 6 June, 2009 from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/The_Nymph%27s_Reply_to_the_Shepherd

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