In Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophil and Stella "Sonnet 1," there is an observable poetic structure that can be analyzed on a literal as well as a figurative level in an attempt to gain a logical understanding of the poem. Sidney's style of writing appears to be easily interpreted on a literal level, yet there is a deeper and more complex dimension of figurative elements, such as metaphors, that require further exploration and examination to unveil their complete meaning. In addition, this sonnet encompasses complex speech that must be interpreted through its underlying meaning and not what it appears to be on the surface.
Firstly, Sidney uses a fairly concise structure throughout "Sonnet 1." For the most part, there is a consistent pattern of unstressed then stressed syllables which make "Sonnet 1" a poem of iambic hexameter. In addition, he also uses a rather apparent rhyme scheme of "ABAB ABAB CDCD EE" as well as commas between phrases, resulting in the poem flowing at a fast pace. The rhyme pattern, commas, and the iambic meter force the reader to read one phrase after another, resulting in a mutual feeling of anger between the speaker and the reader for not being able to write to his love. There is first an octave where the first two quatrains share the same rhyme scheme, then another quatrain, and then a couplet which attempts to offer a solution to the problem the speaker is experiencing in the poem. This type of line sequence is called a sonnet. In the octave, there is an exact rhyme of "A" words, such as "show" (line 1), "know" (line 3), and "woe" (line 5), that have the same amount of syllables at the end of the line, whereas, the "B" rhymes, like "pa...
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... word study to life by giving breath for it to blow invention away. These words are personified to create other characters to project the blame as to whose fault it is that the writer is unable to write. The speaker fails to realize that he is causing his writer's block.
In summary, Sidney's Astrophil and Stella is a poem consisting of several literary devices and poetic structures that bring the poem to a level where readers are able to interpret it on a literal level. In order to understand and experience the actual meaning, one must analyze each individual aspect and develop a point of view that is more understanding than criticizing. By developing a lesser critical point of view, readers are permitted to feel what it is like for an aspiring poet to learn that in actuality, he is not a poet and he lacks imagination, an essential element of composing poetry.
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