Literary Devices in The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

Literary Devices Examples in The Passionate Shepherd to His Love:

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love 3

"Come live with me..."   (The Passionate Shepherd to His Love)

This line directly repeats the opening line of the poem. Like the first line, it contains an imperative command. He is instructing her to come live with him and be his love. However, he combines with this a conditional statement: “if” the “pleasures” that he talks about have wooed her, then she should follow his command to be his love. This slight change to the line allows the woman to choose now that she has heard his argument as to why she should live with him.

"thousand..."   (The Passionate Shepherd to His Love)

When considered literally, a “bed of roses” and a “thousand” bouquets of flowers seem hyperbolic and unrealistic. Hyperbole is not used to paint an accurate picture of reality; rather it casts reality into beautiful terms. Much like pastoral poetry is able to reimagine an impoverished, rural landscape as a type of artistic Eden, the speaker is able to paint their future life together as simple and happy. This reveals the theme of poetry as a way to recast the world in ideal terms and elevate it out of reality.

"Woods..."   (The Passionate Shepherd to His Love)

The shepherd uses this catalogue of natural images in order to woo his love object. Throughout the poem, the speaker conflates nature with romantic and idyllic imagery. In this way, he allows the natural world to make his emotional appeal for him; nature and humanity are seen as one entity.