The sixteenth century was a time of scientific, historical, archaeological, religious and artistic exploration. More attention was being allotted to probing into the depths of the human psyche and it was up to the artists and poets rather than the priests and scholars to examine and mirror these internal landscapes. The 'little world of man'  was reflected through various artistic forms, one of which was the sonnet, which was conventionally used for dedications, moral epigrams and the like. Traditionally most sonnets dealt with the theme of romantic love and in general the sonneteer dealt with the over-riding concern of the self and the other, the latter of which normally referred to a mistress, friend, or a familial relation. One of the first important artistic creations witnessed by the Elizabethans was Sidney's sonnet sequence called Astrophil and Stella, a variation on Petrarch's Canzoniere. Sidney who was indeed acclaimed the 'English Petrarch', nevertheless wrote with his Elizabethan readers in mind as his characters spoke in English accents, voiced English concerns and evoked the spirit of the time.
The sequence, which like all Renaissance sequences is not a realistic autobiography, is about a man, Astrophil who is attracted to and in pursuit of a married woman, called Stella. On stealing a first kiss from Stella whilst she is asleep the male protagonist worries about her reaction lest she should find out, but later on chides himself for not taking advantage of the situation. He then goes on to recount how he is filled with hopes one minute and despair the next, whilst trying in vain to pursue her. In constantly being refused, he feels angere...
... middle of paper ...
...citing his own words from the previous stanzas.
Like other sonnet sequences Astrophil and Stella concentrates primarily on attitudes and states of mind, whereby all the poems centre on a single all-absorbing experience, in this case Astrophil's obsessive and rejected love. The autobiographical element is evident and the sonnets voice Sidney's desires, regrets, and conflicts of conscience, which resulted from the social pressures and moral restraints of his time. Even though the reverberating theme of the poem is one of moral bleakness it was nevertheless greatly admired and appreciated by the righteous and virtuous Elizabethans because of the conventions it adhered to, such as the didactical element, and the complementing structural features.
1 Lever (awaiting details)
2 Roche, Thomas P. Petrarch and The English Sonnet Sequence (1989), p. 196
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophil and Stella The literary fortunes of Sir Philip Sidney illustrate nicely the contrast between the Elizabethan and twentieth century views on imitation and originality in literature. Sidney's sequence of 108 sonnets entitled Astrophil and Stella which appeared at the end of the sixteenth century drew immediate praise from English readers who appreciated his "blend of wit and sensibility, of intellectual brilliance and temperamental ardour" (Lever 53); they liked especially the "directness and spontaneity" (53) of the poems.... [tags: Astrophil Stella Essays]
1386 words (4 pages)
- In truly Renaissance English artistic fashion, poets such as Phillip Sidney and William Shakespeare negotiate poetic boundaries, while implementing Italian conventions. They manipulate the sonnet form and climb Castiglione’s “ladder of love” throughout their poems. Sidney’s Astrophil (Astrophil and Stella) behaves wildly, as Castiglione’s Bembo (The Courtier) expects from a young courtier; he is incapable of being able to see beyond physical form. Shakespeare’s speaker in “Sonnet 130” sees beyond form, almost to a fault.... [tags: Astrophil And Stella, Sonnet 108]
2167 words (6.2 pages)
- Versions and Variants of Sidney’s “Astrophil and Stella” In comparing the 1591 and 1598 versions of Sir Phillip Sidney’s “Astrophil and Stella”, it is said that the 1598 publication proves to be the most authoritative version. The 1598 edition, published along with other works in Sidney’s Arcadia, contains many spelling, grammar, and punctuation corrections; a complete restructuring and organization of the sonnet sequence; as well as the replacement of lines that had been missing or miscopied in the original 1591 edition.... [tags: Sonnet, Poetry, Poetic form, Sonnet studies]
728 words (2.1 pages)
- ... Were Astrophel’s love not unrequited, he might describe the moon as a glowing white orb lending itself to the joy of a midnight stroll; given that his love is unrequited, however, the face of the moon presents itself not as beautiful and radiant but as wan, suggesting that its pallid color owes its explanation to illness and despair. Astrophel’s reference to the “busy archer” he holds accountable for arbitrarily influencing man’s emotions is undoubtedly a reference to Cupid, the god of love who, with his arrows, can inspire feelings of love and admiration so intense the person affected finds himself unable to act in his best interest, regardless of how his particular object of affection... [tags: misfortunes, unrequited, sorrow]
713 words (2 pages)
- The Sidney’s and Their Love Stories There is an obvious connection between the sonnet sequence of Lady Mary Worth’s Pamphilia to Amphilanthus and Sir Philip Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella. Not only are these sonnets sequence are similar because they are about two lovers, but there are also many sonnets from both sequences that can be related in context, rhyme and emotions. In particular sonnet seven in Pamphilia to Amphilanthus and sonnet fifty-three in Astrophil and Stella are relatable in several aspects.... [tags: Sonnets, Poetic Analysis, Comparisons]
907 words (2.6 pages)
- Sonnets 18 and 130: Defending and Defying the Petrarchan Convention During the Renaissance, it was common for poets to employ Petrarchan conceit to praise their lovers. Applying this type of metaphor, an author makes elaborate comparisons of his beloved to one or more very dissimilar things. Such hyperbole was often used to idolize a mistress while lamenting her cruelty. Shakespeare, in Sonnet 18, conforms somewhat to this custom of love poetry, but later breaks out of the mold entirely, writing his clearly anti-Petrarchan work, Sonnet 130.... [tags: Shakespeare Sonnet anti-Petrarchan]
1240 words (3.5 pages)
- Poetry is continously seen as a way of leaving a mark in various poems, especially those of Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare, as well as Sonnet 75 by Edmund Spenser. Spenser states to his love, that his “verse your virtues rare shall eternize,” basically declaring that through his poetry she will live forever (Spenser 11). It seems vain of the speaker to say that his poems will live forever, since he seems to regard himself in such a high standard. Shakespeare was also confident of his skills, as proven when he writes; “When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st” (Shakespeare 12).... [tags: Poetry, William Shakespeare, Philip Sidney]
1322 words (3.8 pages)
- Love is a difficult thing to express in words in any given language. It is near impossible to convey the paradoxical pain and pleasure of love that sounds dreadfully horrid but simultaneously magical. Most people are often confused and have a hard time figuring and sorting out exactly how they feel and felt about their love and relationship. However, to love someone or be loved by someone is a special gift, and to be able to convey your gratitude for whatever you received out of the relationship is an extremely intense and concentrated task.... [tags: Thomas Wyatt Sir Philip Sidney Poems Essays]
1781 words (5.1 pages)
- “The books we enjoy as children stay with us forever -- they -- have a special impact. Paragraph after paragraph and page after page, the author must deliver his or her best work” (qtd. good reads). Albert Sidney Fleischman, an American author who did most of his writing in San Diego, was in the fifth Grade when he was influenced by magic. Even though Sid Fleischman was not able to fulfill his dream of becoming a great magician, he did create magic by making it the theme of all of his books. During his lifetime, Fleischman won numerous awards such as the Newbery Award in 1987 and the Boston Globe – Horn Book Award in 1979.... [tags: Albert Sidney Fleischman, The Abracadabra Kid]
1843 words (5.3 pages)
- The Power of the Sonnet Sonnet 30 tells us that the speaker is a person who has long been stoic, whose tears have for a long time been unused to flow. In the situation sketched in the poem, he begins by deliberately and habitually making these tears flow again; he willingly--for the sake of an enlivened emotional selfhood--calls up the griefs of the past. In receding order, before the weeping "now", there was the "recent" dry-eyed stoicism; "before that," the frequent be-moanèd moan of repeated grief; "further back in the past," the original loss so often mourned; and "in the remote past", a time of achieved happiness, or at lea... [tags: Sonnet essays]
842 words (2.4 pages)