can someone tell me the definition of "Pastoral" in 'teenager' language?

i searched up pastoral and this came up...

pastoral literature, class of literature that presents the society of shepherds as free from the complexity and corruption of city life (britannica.com)

what is shepherds? complexity? corruption of city life?

what is a simpler way i can remember the definition and be able to give an example? and does Pastoral only apply to poetry?

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  • 10 years ago
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    Pastoral is an adjective that actually has several different meanings, some being more related to each other than others. It is an adjective that can be used to describe much more than literature, such as, "a pastoral setting...".

    I'll put the link for the definition here for you. Your definition from britannica is one definition or meaning, "relating to shepherds or sheep herders". However, today, a more common meaning for the word is simply "related to country life (rural) and not related to city life (urban)".

    If you can think of things associated with a rural, or "country" setting, such as: quiet, open air, fields, pastures, peace, solitude, then you will have an idea of the meaning and use of the adjective "pastoral".

    A third meaning is "related to a church or a pastor", but that one is not as common a use for the word.

    If you equate pastoral with "country" or "countrified", you will do fine and will easily remember it.

    Pastoral as an adjective can work with ANYTHING or any noun that it makes sense to describe that way. So, yes, it can apply to poetry or a poem, if it is about the country or a rural area, or if it is about shepherds and/or shepherding, and even if it is about a church or a pastor.

    But you could have:

    - a pastoral view

    - a pastoral story

    - a pastoral landscape

    - a pastoral house (vs. a modern or "city" house)

    Check out the definition for yourself. And, if you equate "pastoral" with "country, not city", you will do fine.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pastoral

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