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Word Count: 696
In English literature the pastoral is a familiar trait of Renaissance poetry Edmund Spensers Shepherds Calendar as the first major Elizabethan pastoral of considerably greater length than any other work of this kind used the pastoral as a means for political and religious discussion It imitated not only classical models but also pastoral poets of France and Italy and succeeded in bringing about a new vogue for pastoral Shakespeares love lyrics and those of Ben Jonson and Michael Drayton also have a pastoral setting The Pastoral can be applied to both poetry and drama Shakespeares As you like it being one of the most famous plays of a pastoral setting There are different definitions of pastoral the most common being writing about nature and landscape although the genre also includes works whose setting is of the countryside Writing about Shepherds was also a common trait I think for modern readers or for me anyway it does seem like a really strange genre and to be honest I found it quite off-putting The countryside and rural population is strongly idealised with the notion that life in the country was effortless and trouble-free In Shakespeares When daisies pied and violets blue reflects the popular idea of the simplicity of the pastoral this idealised almost faerytale like impression of the countryside When daisies pied and violets blue And lady-smocks all silver-white And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue Do paint the meadows with delight It is the ABAB rhyme scheme in iambic pentameter and the simple four line stanzas reflects the simple beauty that this song is trying to depict It is an extremely tranquil and pleasant setting and the easy structure presents a sophisticated allusion to country life In Marlowes The Passionate Shepherd to his Love this idyllic notion of the countryside is expressed again as a society of shepherds free from complexity and corruption of city life is presented It is written in
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