Versions And Variants Of Sidney 's ' Astrophil And Stella ' Essay

Versions And Variants Of Sidney 's ' Astrophil And Stella ' Essay

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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. The differences between the two editions are especially prevalent in the first and sixth sonnets of the poem. While these corrections are seemingly subtle, they prove to be important in supporting the framework of the Petrarchan sonnet and thus the overall experience of the poem itself.

Looking at the first sonnet of the 1598 edition, we can begin to see that there are significant organizational and structural changes to the poem. Whereas the 1591 version’s sonnet lines appear to be more grouped together, the 1598 version separates the octave into two groups and t...

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