History: E211_Marlowe

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Assigned: "Hero and Leander" (1004-22); recommended: "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" (1022).

"Hero and Leander"

1. How does the narrator establish distance from the story told? What results from this distance for you as a reader?

2. What is the relationship between the gods' amorous affairs and the affair of Hero and Leander? Consider both the set-piece references to the gods and their actual interaction with the two lovers in the poem.

3. What view of love emerges from this poem? Is the focus on idealism, eroticism, both? Explain.

4. Compare this poem's handling of sexual love with Spenser's treatment of sexuality in the "Epithalamion."

Extra: Marlowe's "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" and Sir Walter Ralegh's "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd"

5. Judge for yourself: whose argument wins between Marlowe's poem and Ralegh's on 917-18? Why?

6. Try writing your own reply to Marlowe's poem, or a counter-reply to Ralegh's rebuttal.

Greenblatt, Stephen et al., eds. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 8th ed. New York: Norton, 2006. Package 1 (Vols. ABC) ISBN 0-393-92833-0.


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