Discussion Questions: Week 15

Answer one question from each reading

Christopher Marlowe, “The Passionate Shepherd to his Love”

  1. What makes this a pastoral poem?
  2. Is there a significance/importance in the flowers that Marlowe mentions? (i.e. roses and posies) Do these romanticize the poem more?
  3. Do you think that this was a typical love poem?


Ben Johnson, “Ode to Himself”

  1. What type of artistry is Ben Johnson telling himself to move away from/ leave behind? And what should he pursuit instead?
  2. What is Johnson saying about ballads when he states, “…Of worded balladry, / And think it poesy?”
  3. Is Johnson praising himself for the work that he has done in this poem? How can you tell?


Sir Walter Raleigh, “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd”


  1. Why would Raleigh use the same lines and similar words to Marlowe’s poem “The  Passionate Shepherd to his Love”?
  2. In what ways do the Nymph criticize and demonstrate skepticism towards the shepherds visions in “The  Passionate Shepherd to his Love”?
  3. Why might Raleigh make several references to the changes of season? What is the purpose of such imagery?



Drayton’s “To the Reader of these Sonnets” and “How Many Paltry, Foolish, Painted Things”

  1. In “To the Reader of these Sonnets” what is Drayton’s overall message? What is he trying to say?
  1. For the first stanza in “To the Reader of these Sonnets”

          what are the stressed and unstressed syllables? What are some of the metaphors and similes? Why are they important to the          overall theme of the poem?

  1. What are some of the most important images in Drayton’s

          “To the Reader of these Sonnets?” why?

  1. What type of Sonnet is “How many paltry, foolish, painted things?” How do you know?

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