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Pastoral Poetry


Christopher Marlowe | Sir Walter Raleigh | The Passionate Shepherd To His Love | The Nymph's Reply To The Shepherd | Works Cited
Sir Walter Raleigh

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Career- poet, courtier, soldier, privateer, explorer, scientist, historian, and attorney

*Raleigh was born at Hayes Borton, Devonshire in 1554.
*He came from a prominent seafaring family.
*Raleigh interrupted his education to fight with Huguenot forces in France during his teen years.
*He attended Oxford University for 2 years and left before earning a Law Degree.
*His first example of poetry appeared in 1576 as the preface to George Gasgoigne?atire, The Steele Glas.
*He sailed to N. America in an unsuccessful attempt to find the Northwest Passage.
*He also took part in England?uppression of Ireland.
*Raleigh earned a reputation as a war hero for leading a massacre of unarmed Spanish and Italian troops.
*He was summoned by Queen Elizabeth to serve as an advisor on Irish affairs, and was knighted in 1585.
*He was then named captain of Queen's personal guard in 1587.
*Raleigh wrote the majority of his poetry during this period to flatter the Queen and gain her favor.
*His influence also ensured the favorable reception of his friend Edmund Spenser by the Queen.
*In 1592, Queen Elizabeth discovered that Raleigh had secretly married a member of the royal court, Elizabeth Throckmorton, during the late 1580s.
*Elizabeth then ordered the couple imprisoned in separate cells in the Tower of London.
*Raleigh was released within months, but he was stripped of many privileges and exiled from court.
* He then sailed to Orinoco Rivier in Guiana (now known as Venezuela) in search of gold.
*Raleigh regained the Queen's favor in 1597 after participating in a raid on the Spanish Cadiz.
* He was then appointed Captain of the Queen?uard and was named the governor of the Isle of Jersey.
* James I, the Queen's successor, did not like Sit Walter Raleigh, and accused him of treason in 1603.
*He was convicted and sentenced to death, and spent 13 years in the Tower of London.
*During the 13 years he wrote The History of the World, a literary and historical masterpiece.
*He convinced James I to release him by planning an expedition to find gold and silver in South America, the expedition was a disaster and his oldest son died in battle.
*Raleigh was imprisoned again, and his execution was reinstated.
*He was beheaded outside the Palace of Westminster on October 29, 1618.