Come Live with me and be my Love – Kudzai Mhangwa

Another contribution from Kudzai Mhangwa to our cause! A big thank you to Kudzai. I’ve also added my own comments about this essay, which are not meant to be criticism, but rather areas where the essay can be tightened up.

My notes are in the brackets in red.


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Analysis of ‘Come Live with me and Be My Love’ (Fine for a general analysis, but not too helpful as a focus for revision/exam style questions)

Marlow gives us an intimate look into the beauty of the country though creating a quite unrealistic image in hopes of persuading his beloved to come to his side and be with him and enjoy the pleasures offered by the countryside. (it’s considered one of the first pastoral poems – poems that glorify rustic and rural life)

In his opening line the persona shows his eagerness to persuade his beloved to be with him with opening line, ‘Come live with me and be my love’. The phrase is said out (? confusing sentence structure or error) and enthusiastic tone showing us his eager nature. Imagery is used to form a picture of the countryside, he says, ‘that valleys, groves, hills and fields Woods and steepy mountain yields,’ (Your sentence structure here is a bit problematic – your quotation is not well integrated into your text)This imagery helps paint a beautiful and wonderful picture in the mind of the reader of the countryside (How? Maybe comment on the fact that his listing means he is overcome with all the majestic elements of the countryside), which the persona seems to appreciate to great depth.

The persona creates a calm and soothing atmosphere in the line, ‘And we will sit upon the rocks, Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,’ suggesting a relaxed and serene lifestyle. The persona shows us that their relationship will be stable and strong in the phrase, ‘sit upon the rocks’. The ‘rock’ symbolises strength and stability in their relationship. (This is excellent analysis, but try to avoid all the repetition of the quotation and just immediately drill down to the word ‘rock’) The activities of the countryside residents is shown in the phrase, ‘seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,’ (again, repeating yourself here) which again shows a relaxed and calm atmosphere and environment (how? Not really exploring the quotation) the persona admires. The personification of birds, ‘Melodious birds sing madrigals,’ also associates the countryside with joy and an atmosphere of elation and celebration over he and his love’s union.

The persona also promises a comfortable and relaxed life in the phrase, ‘And I will make thee beds of roses’. A bed of roses is associated with comfort and the persona brings out his eagerness in a passionate and persuasive tone. Showing the reader how desperate and longing he is to have the listener as his lover. The persona makes an allusion to marriage and his desire to wed the listener in the phrase, ‘a cap of flowers and kirtle, Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle,’ A kirtle is a long gown and myrtle is an ever green plant; the persona’s choice to bind the dress with an evergreen plant suggests that the two’s bond will be strong and never ending. The persona also promises his beloved slippers made of, ‘the purest gold,’ and a gown from ‘which our pretty lambs we pull,’. The gold represents purity and how strong their bond will be and how the persona wishes to immerse his beloved with the finest of gifts. The gown made of wool from ‘pretty lambs’ acts as a symbol of how he views his beloved as pure and holy and almost saint-like. (excellent paragraph with detailed exploration of language and explanation of significance + personal comment)

The persona says from ‘our pretty lambs,’ the persona takes part ownership of the lambs with the adjective ‘our’ indeed this might show that he himself is a shepherd because he is in position of lambs. Considering that he is a shepherd and has promised all those gifts which one might see as unrealistic for a shepherd to meet. His gifts and statements may all be hyperbole and act as tools to seduce the listener. (Good personal comment)

The persona shows (notice how repetitive your paragraph openings are – I’ve helpfully put these in bold and underlined them :)) his eagerness to share his joy with others in the phrase, ‘The shepherd swains shall dance and sing For thy delight each May morning,’ (Try to integrate into your sentence rather than just insert like this – it shows a lack of refinement in your writing style, which is easily addressed) the persona shows us the celebratory spirit and atmosphere that is prominent in the country side. May is beginning of spring, a season of joy and new beginnings. The persona’s choice to use ‘May’ also show the beginning of their new found love and happiness.

The phrase ‘live with me and be my love,’ is repeated on several instances showing the desperation the persona has. The choice of the word ‘Come’ in order to invite the listener may be viewed as a way of subtly forcing the listener to his side and suggesting that he lacks some courtesy. Again, we see how the persona believes that in order to win over the love of a woman one must lavish her with gifts in the phrase, ‘If these delights thy mind may move, Then live with me, and be my love.’ From this phrase we see that the persona is materialistic, superficial and view women as people who need to be pleased with many gifts in order to please them. (A little harsh, maybe? Is this not just an overly romantic poem and romance is often associated with showering gifts or affection on one person) He wishes to move her ‘mind’ and not her heart, this suggests that he wishes to draw her into a lie and not true love.

The persona begins a number of lines with ‘And’ which might be done to show that there will be no end to their happiness and will persist for a long time. Each stanza is made up of uneven lines and has a slow meter in order to allow the listener and the reader to think of the persona’s thoughts of love and his blissful state of mind. The persona uses rhyming couplets in each stanza:

…..love (a)
…..prove (a)
….. hills (b)
…. yields (b)
(Obviously you can’t do this in the exam – just mention the way the rhyme scheme works and its significance (don’t mention it if you’re not prepared to comment on its significance!))

This might be interpreted as the persona trying to seduce the listener easily by using this simple and easy rhyme scheme which one can easily be captivated by (Or reflecting the easy nature of the rural life he is persuading her to join). In stanza five we see the use of eye rhyme (I don’t like this phrase, but if you’re teacher has encouraged you to use it then fine – just be careful though because accents change and eye rhyme to you, may be ear rhyme in your poet’s time):

……move
……love.

The words appear as if they rhyme but in actual fact they do not. The reader may interpret this as a way of seducing the listener into a lie (he might not be able to fulfill all of the promises he made to the listener).

Done (! This makes you sound like a builder and not a sensitive literature student) by Kudzai Mhangwa

CIE Literature comment – some excellent analysis and clearly a brilliant understanding of the poem. However, I think that for all your strong ideas you have not really created a particularly fluent piece of work and paragraphs tend to have very little connection – markedly has no conclusion. In addition, you need to ensure your quotations are integrated into your sentences wherever possible.

Kudzai’s teacher gave him 17/25 for this essay and I’d be inclined to roughly agree and say in Band 3  (14-17). Knowledge – competent use of reference (Band 3); Understanding – sound understanding of some aspects of writer’s use of language and structure (Band 3); Personal – personal response revealed and supported convincingly (Band 2); Communication – expression mostly clear, but simple structure to answer and not much fluency or connection between ideas (Band 3-4). 

Author: Mr Sir

Although I've only been teaching Literature since 2011 and did my degree in History, I think that makes me better placed than many Lit teachers to provide notes that make sense and aren't garbled and wrapped up with inaccessible terminology and effluent nonsense. After adventures in Uganda and Uzbekistan, I am now settling down in the Netherlands. However, currently I am just about as unsettled as I have ever been, with a new job, a new baby, a new country and a hundred other things going on! Ask me a question, collaborate or abuse me.

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