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The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

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The Passionate Shepherd to his Love.

Questions for The Passionate Shepherd to his Love.

  1. In Stanza 1, according to the shepherd, what will the "valleys, groves, hills, fields, woods, [and] craggy mountains" be able to do for him and his love?

Answer: In Stanza 1, the shepherd calls out for his love to come and live with him. The nature, “hills, valleys, dales, fields and mountain yields”, will bring pleasure, happiness and joy to both the shepherd and his love. They can relish and enjoy the wonders of nature together as the shepherd loves the nature so much. This is evident due to the fact where the shepherd describes the joys of nature with meticulous and precise details.

  1. In Stanza 2, what will they be able to experience?

Answer: In Stanza 2, the lovers will be able to share their love for each other in peace and harmony while they dance in the beauty of nature. There are so many things for them to enjoy like watching the “shepherds feed their flocks”, listening to the magnificent sounds for the “shallow rivers” and the "melodious" sounds that the birds make. It shows how the shepherd knows how much nature is safe for the both of them and they are sheltered and protected from any harm.

  1. What are 'madrigals'? In what way, is the singing of birds likened to madrigals? What are the characteristics of madrigals?

Answer: The definition of madrigals is when everyone sings together but in different voices so it is the harmony of the different parts which create the song. Similarly, in the poem, it is the combination of the different birds’ melodies that culminate in the “melodious” birds sing “madrigals”.

  1.  What is a 'kirtle'?

Answer: The definition of a kirtle is a woman's gown or outer petticoat.

  1. What would the shepherd like his love to wear?

Answer: He wants her to wear a "gown made of the finest wool" which he made, "fair-lined slippers" to keep her feet warm with buckles made from the "purest gold". He also wants her to model a "belt of the purest gold" with "coral clasps" and "amber studs" for design.

  1. How does the shepherd try to persuade his love to live with him?

The shepherd uses several ways to persuade his love to live with him. Firstly, the shepherd wants his love to be with him so he offers her many sweet things for her to be with him. In addition, he uses "roses" to make her a bed to lie on with a thousand sweet-smelling "posies" for her to smell the delights of them. Furthermore, he will weave her a "cap of flowers" for her to look beautiful in and make her a kirtle encircling with "leaves of myrtle". The shepherd will also produce her a gown with "finest wool" from their "pretty lambs". Lastly, he will create her "fair-lined slippers" with "buckles of the purest gold" just to keep out the cold and ensure her feet is always warm.

  1. Explain the significance of nature as used in Christopher Marlowe's poem, 'The Passionate Shepherd to His Love'. [8M]


  In the poem, “The Passionate Shepherd to his Love”, by Christopher Marlowe, the significance of nature is abundantly shown in the excessive ways through vivid imagery. As an example, the line, “the shepherds’ swains shall dance and sing” gives out rich auditory and visual imagery due to the usage of the rich sounds in the poem. The shepherd entices and engages his lover to the temptations of nature and rural life to be with him.

  Furthermore, the poet uses a regular rhyme scheme in this poem. The form of the rhyme scheme is “aabb” which also shows the significant of nature in the poem. For instance, the third and fourth lines where “dales and fields” and “mountain yields” deploy the normal regularity of the rhyme scheme.

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