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Pastoral Context

Pastoral /Bucolic­ traditionally pertaining to shepherds and their occupation ­ simple,
solitary, independent communication with nature

Celebrates the natural charm of the country and the virtues of a simple, unsophisticated
(Doric, provincial) life far from the city or court (sophisticated and urbane) ­ a detachment
from materialism


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Duel function ­ retreat/recreation and work/production (ideally interchangeable)
Symbols of the apple and the serpent
Edenic-pastoral ­ relationship between God and Men, biblical imagery
Paradise Lost ­ one of few pastoral epics ever written ­ iconic
Focuses on Adam and Eve taking care of the garden

A Locus Amoneous ­…

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Marvell (died 1678, over a century before romantic era) was ahead of his time, advocating a
view of nature linked to Romanticism, rather than those of the forthcoming Age of
Enlightenment (1710-1770)

Pastoral literature does not always present a positive view on the natural world ­ poets can
present similar…

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Rich became aware of potential of rural land
Urban sprawl

Authors elaborate on Theocritus and Virgil's original ideas to fit their own social

Current environmental crisis (Urban sprawl) has roots in renaissance ­ pastoral
literature still relevant today from a political angle

Virgil introduced politics ­ turbulence of revolution…


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