COMPARISON OF PASTORAL POEMS 8
BothSpenser`s "January" eclogue from his The ShepheardesCalender and Marvell`s "Damon the Mower" are versions ofand/or responses to Virgil`s second eclogue. Write an account of howand to what effect Spenser and Marvell have adopted and adaptedVirgil in those two poems. Please write about both poems.
Thereare a lot of similarities between Virgil’s second eclogue andSpenser’s “January” eclogue from his The Shepheardes Calenderand Marvell’s “Damon the Mower”. The similarities are not justin the theme, but also in the structure of the poems themselves. Theresults of all the three eclogues also seem to be very much the samefor each character. As such, it is safe to conclude that Marvell’sand Spenser’s works are direct adaptations and adoptions of thework of Virgil. The first part of this paper will investigate therelationships between these pieces of work while the second part willinvestigate the role of love in forging and destroying ties betweenpeople.
Interms of the setting, all major characters in the eclogues areinvolved with nature in some way. The setting is rural in all theeclogues. Their daily lives revolve around dealing with nature as away of earning a living. For Colin in Spenser’s work, he has tolook after sheep to earn a living. His sheep’s well-being isdependent on nature. This is proven from the way Colin sympathizeshis sheep for having bad health due to the cold of winter. InMarvell’s work, Damon works as a mower to earn a livelihood(Spenser,2015).In all three eclogues, the main characters love and enjoy their work.Additionally, all the main characters are male and they seethemselves as the victims of circumstances. They all cannot get thewomen they hoped for and they find it difficult to live without them.They all blame nature (environment or personality) for theirrejection by the women they loved.
Thematically,all the three pieces of work have love as the main theme. The maincharacters that is, Corydon, Colin, and Damon find themselves in thesame situation, although they all handle it differently at the end ofthe day. Whatever each of them decides, it ends with them giving upsomething they would not have given up if it were not for theirsituation. The three main characters in the three eclogues fall inlove with women that they never get in the end. Colin in Spenser’seclogue falls in love with Rosalind who rejects him, but he does notunderstand why. The eclogue starts with Colin arriving with his sheepto graze them (Peverett, 2013). He then starts to compare his moodsto the season of the year (Spenser, 2015). He laments about theseason and what it has done to the trees and vegetation. He talks ofprevious seasons, which made vegetation look much better. In the end,Colin breaks his pipe and throws himself on the ground. He vows notto write poetry anymore. In the case of Corydon, helaments his situation, blames his rusticity and concludes that it isbetter to busy himself with daily chores and wait for another Alexis(Virgil 2, 2015). Where Colin decides to break his pipe, throwhimself on the ground, and never write poetry anymore, Corydondecides to busy himself and decides to wait for another Alexis(Mnemographia,2010).Besides almost common decisions, the two authors use almost similarnames for their characters.
Marvell’swork resembles that of Virgil because there is an element of blame inboth works. Whereas Corydon blames his rusticity nature, Damon blamesnature for his rejection. His selfish nature does not allow him toblame himself for failing to get Juliana. Unlike Corydon who composeshimself, give up on Alexis and focuses on daily chores with hopes fora future, Damon does not have any hope for the future (Virgil 1,2009, Morin, 2015). He loses everything he loved nature and Juliana(Van den Broeck, 2009). He also comes to his demise for beingrejected. His contemplation of death brings him out as the weakestcharacter of all the three. Whereas the other two find ways to livewith their losses and move on with life, Damon fails to do that(Baruch, 1974). He wants to die and feels betrayed with the one thinghe once loved so much: nature. Damon identifies with nature, which heloved so much, just like Colin identifies with the sheep he takescare of and Corydon identifies with his daily chores (Watkins, 1995).
Themood for all three characters is also the same sad. Each characterhas been disappointed by the love of their lives hence, they have areason to be sad.
Marvell’swork is arranged in a way that each stanza makes perfect sense evenon its own, just like Virgil’s second eclogue. Each stanza seems tobe a continuation of the previous stanza, hence creating a smoothtransition and uniformity (Steenkamp, 2011).
How,in the texts that you have studied for this unit, do love and desirehave the capacity both to forge and to disrupt the ties betweenindividuals and their communities? Please refer to Elizabeth I`spoem and Wyatt`s poems.
BothElizabeth and Wyatt’s poems demonstrate the great capacity thatlove has to break and forge ties between individuals. Many of Wyatt’spoems have themes that revolve around love. For instance, in the poemnamed “My Heart I Gave Thee”, he talks about how he had given hislove to a lover and how the lover became unfaithful. He says thatbecause of love, he gave his heart away to the lover so that shecould protect it. He believed in the relationship that emanated fromthe love that he had for the lover. Out of love, a strong bond/tiewas created between the two and it drew them together. However, afterWyatt realizes the infidelity of his lover, the initial love changesand he becomes hopeless and bitter. An analysis of most of Wyattslove poems also indicate that he has given up of love after severalbad encounters. He quits attempting to be in love and instead pursuesother things he considers to be greater than love. For instance, inthe poem “Farewell, Love” he says that he has left issues of loveto young people to trouble themselves with them. He seeks to pursuefreedom, which he has discovered to be greater than love(Gradesaver.com, n.d). From such statements, it becomes clear thatlove has led Wyatt to destroy his tie with the lover. It has alsocaused him to give up completely on love together with anything thathas anything to do with it in order to pursue other things. His poemindicates that his attempts at love have always ended with himfeeling betrayed and hurt, something that always left him with anger.All cases in which he was betrayed chew away little bits of hisheart, leaving him incapable of loving or trusting anymore. It goeswithout saying that the party that betrayed him always damaged thetie that the two shared. As a result, betrayed love destroyed tiesbetween him and the party that betrayed him.
Anotherbond of love between people that Wyatt refers to, which destroys tiesis that between a king and his best companions. Such relationshipshave ended up with bitter reactions from the king towards theirconfidants and sometimes they have ended with the confidants beingpunished by death.
Thework of Elizabeth I is also full of instances where love forged anddestroyed ties between people. The first instance am going to discussis one involving many suitors that came to woe her when she was stillyoung. The suitors were drawn by love, but the manner in whichElizabeth treated them always destroyed any kind of tie that couldever exist between them. She says in the poem that she drove themharshly and without hesitation. Her work and the circumstances underwhich they were written helped to forge some ties that wouldotherwise have never existed. For instance, the two poems she writesto her sister Mary while under house arrest in Woodstick explains herinnocence, but at the same house gently complains of the unfairnessshe was being put under by her sister. These poems express her heartand the situations she was under to a point that she manages toconvince her sister, the queen of England of her innocence. Shemanages to forge new ties and repair broken ones. As queen, she usesher poems to forge ties with enemies as well as allies. QueenElizabeth I’s work in poetry continues even today to help inforging relationships between people. Many people today refer to themin various situations. I think that saying that Elizabeth I’s poemsstill live today is a true statement because even though the authordied many years ago, her work is still alive. It is still a majorpoint of reference in our societies today (Elizabeth, 2000).
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