Sir Phillip Sidney's Sonnet #47 from Astrophil and Stella

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Sir Phillip Sidney's Sonnet #47 from Astrophil and Stella Sir Phillip Sidney's Sonnet # 47 from Astrophil and Stella The sonnet is a short concise form of writing and it takes a great mind to master it. By mastering it, I mean to be able to say so much in what seems like so little space. Sir Phillip Sidney comes as close to mastering it as anyone else in his time or any other does. As the opening line says, this is about a betrayal. Strangely enough, the last line of the sonnet ends with a word that is the very essence of betrayal. The sonnet ends with the word, lie. This would cause one to expect to get an explanation of the betrayal between the first and last lines. This appears to be a story of both love and betrayal. In the sonnet, it is love that betrays. The narrator opens the sonnet with a question to himself. He wants to know if he has betrayed his own liberty or his freedom. The next three lines of this quatrain use imagery of slavery. The narrator is struggling in knowing if he were born free or if he were born a slave to this love. He raises a question in the closing line of the quatrain, if anyone can handle the confines of love and the boundaries it seems to place on a person. The first quatrain uses such dark imagery that for Americans today brings up thoughts of the Civil War. The fact is, slavery as Americans today think of it was not around in Sidney's time. He wrote Astrophil and Stella around three hundred years before the Civil War. Also, the way Sidney lays out the first quatrain is peculiar. A single line that is not indented is placed, followed by a couplet that Sidney indents, which is then followed by the last line that is not indented. The same format is used in the next quatrain as well. In th... ... middle of paper ... ...someone else in order to know what love is not. The narrator of this sonnet is saying that he knows what love is not but by saying that, he is saying that he knows what it is. Once a person goes through a close relationship where they discover love for the very first time, they are more prepared to find love in life because they know what feeling it is that they are looking for. The sad thing is it usually takes the breaking of a heart in order for one to know the meaning or feeling of true love but through this they become better prepared for the road ahead of them. This sonnet holds true to the fact that a lot can be said in so little space. What exactly is said is always determined by the reader and what he or she gets out of it. Fourteen short lines can that can raise so many questions, feelings and emotions can surely be considered a great piece of literature.

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