pastoral, literary work in which the shepherd's life is presented in a conventionalized manner. In this convention the purity and simplicity of shepherd life is contrasted with the corruption and artificiality of the court or the city. The pastoral is found in poetry, drama, and fiction, and many subjects, such as love, death, religion, and politics, have been presented in pastoral settings. In music, the pastorale is a piece imitating the simple music of shepherds.
He Shall Feed His Flockfrom Handel's Messiah and Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony are superb examples of the pastorale.
Sections in this article:
- In Ancient Greece
- During the Renaissance
- During the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Literature: General