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Sir Philip Sidney

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by Marc Carreira on 17 October 2012

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Transcript of Sir Philip Sidney

Sir Philip Sydney
Sonnet 31
Sonnet 39 By: Marc Carreira
Erin Ford
Alyssa Steeves
Alison Geoffrey
Ben Patterson
Meredith Manchester "At court...Sidney's charm, intelligence, and good judgment were recognized and amired" (222); does his poetry also evince charm, intelligence, and good judgment? Question 1 Contrary to Sidney's character, his poetry does not
portray charm or good judgment. Both poems have melancholy tones and themes and were written in order to dramatize his lonliness and depression. Question 2 What are some Petrarchan
conventions, and how do they affect a poem? "Can judge of love, thou feel'st a lover's case;
I read it in thy looks; thy languisht grace
To me that feel the like, thy state descries." Both of Sidney's sonnets share a similar theme. Both
Sonnets describe a woman who is proud and confident in contrast to a man who is longing for the love of the woman but is also timid and afraid that the woman does not love him. This is a reoccuring theme in Petrarchan sonnets and it gives the poem an unhappy and lonely mood. "Is constant love deemed there but want of wit?
Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
Do they above love to be loved, and yet
Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?" Question 3 "J.C.A Rathmell believes that Sidney's poetry 'is characterized by the frequent appearence of a sly and subtle wit that is always threatening into question, albeit affectionately, the heroic and romantic values it ostensibly celebrates.'" Why would one agree with this statement? Why would one disagree? Sonnet 31 With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies !

How silently, and with how wan a face !

What, may it be that even in heavenly place

That busy archer his sharp arrows tries?

Sure, if that long with love-acquainted eyes

Can judge of love, thou feel'st a lover's case;

I read it in thy looks; thy languisht grace

To me that feel the like, thy state descries.

Then, even of fellowship, O Moon, tell me,

Is constant love deemed there but want of wit?

Are beauties there as proud as here they be?

Do they above love to be loved, and yet

Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?

Do they call virtue there, ungratefulness? Sonnet 39 Come Sleep! O Sleep, the certain knot of peace,

The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe,

The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,

Th' indifferent judge between the high and low.

With shield of proof shield me from out the prease

Of those fierce darts despair at me doth throw:

O make in me those civil wars to cease;

I will good tribute pay, if thou do so.

Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed,

A chamber deaf to noise and blind to light,

A rosy garland and a weary head:

And if these things, as being thine by right,

Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me,

Livelier than elsewhere, Stella's image see. Question 4 Question 5 Question 6 Question 7 Question 8 Question 9 Question 10 Question 11 Question 12 Does a sonnet need to be one of
these three kinds: Petrarchan,
Spensarian, or Shakespearean, or
are sonnets more fluid than the
definition suggests. A sonnet can be any form of poetry with 14 lines. Although the different kinds of sonnets are classified based on their rhyme schemes, any rhyme scheme can be considered a sonnet as long as it meets the requirement of 14 lines. Wyatt is sometimes criticized for his rough meter, and Sydney is praised for his smooth meter. What is the affect of each poet's meter on each poet's poems? With the poets Sir Thomas Wyatt and Sir Philip Sidney, they each use styles of meter, to show readers the overall meaning of their poems. In Wyatt's, "Whoso List to Hunt", the rough meter is used to stress the speaker's weary admiration for the girl he loves. The meter is considered rough due to its change from and Iambic Pentameter with 11 syllables (Line 1) to the same meter but with 10 syllables (Line 2). In Sydney's, "Sonnet 31" the smooth meter is used to connect his comparison of his situation in life to the moon (octave) and the cruelty of woman (sextet). The smooth meter comes from Sidney's even stresses and foots throughout the poem. How does the use of apostrophe affect Sonnet 31? The use of apostrophe separates the speaker one-sided conversation with the moon (Lines 1-9) and the rhetorical questions he later asks himself in lines 10 through 14. What are the names of the couple in Sir Philip Sidney's sonnets? Who do they represent? Who wrote the first sonnet sequence? In any given Petrarchan sonnet, what is the relationship between the two stanzas and how does that relationship relate to the meaning of the poem as a whole? How does the topic and theme of English Renaissance poetry differ from English Medieval poetry? (Use quotations to substantiate your claim.) In the average Petrarchan sonnet, the first stanza--the octave--introduces a thought, problem, or feeling. The second stanza--the sestet--comments on or provides an answer for the thought, problem, or feeling introduced in the octave.

This organization for the sonnet often emphasizes a particular feeling or idea. For example, in Sonnet 31, the lover expresses sympathy with the sadness of the moon, then puts questions to the moon to emphasize his own lovesickness.

"I read it in they looks, they languished grace,
To me, that feel the like, thy state descries." (Lines 7-8)

"Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
Do they above love to be loved, and yet
Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?" (Lines 11-13) What is the central metaphor in Sonnet 39 and how does the metephier characterize the metaphrand? The central metaphor in Sonnet 39 is likening sleep to a place of refuge or a cure-all for inner troubles. Sleep, the metaphrand, is so characterized by the following metaphiers:
"The certain knot of peace" (Line 1)
"The baiting place of wit" (Line 2)
"the balm of woe" (Line 2)
"shield of proof" (Line 5) How are the roles of men and women portrayed in the Renaissance sonnets we have read so far? Who benefits from these roles and how? According to the sonnets, men are portrayed as hopeless suitors, and women as proud, cruel objects of desire. This is especially apparent in Sonnet 31.

"Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
Do they above love to be loved, and yet
Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?" (Lines 11-13) -- The lover laments that the woman he pursues is proud and snubs him when he holds passionate feelings for her.

Also in Sonnet 39:

"With shield of proof shield me from out the prease
Of those fierce darts Despair at me doth throw:
O make in me those civil wars to cease;
I will good tribute pay, if thou do so." (Lines 5-8) -- The lover here begs sleep to ease him of the inner turmoil he feels in regards to his love for his woman and his fear of and anguish toward her denial of his advances.

In this relationship between man and woman, the woman holds the power, for the man is hopelessly enamored and can do nothing but bend to the woman's will. One would agree with this statement if he looks at the expressive side of wit. Sidney is able to express the heart break of a forlorn lover by comparing him to the moon. He describes the moon as “[silent], and how wan a face,” (Sonnet 31). One might disagree with Sidney‘s poetry containing a lot of wit if he sees wit as perceptual. In Sonnet 39 he begs sleep to come to save him from the heartbreak Stella caused, and then goes on to say that in his dreams he will see “Livelier than elsewhere, Stella’s image”. Sidney does not display much wisdom when he is asking for a cure that will further worsen his lovesick condition. Stella and Astrophil are the couple in the sonnets, and they represent Sidney and the woman he loves. The first sonnet sequence was written by Dante Alighieri and it was named "La Vita Nuova". English Renaissance poetry differs from English Medieval poetry mostly on theme and topic. In Medieval times poetry was central to religion. In the Renaissance era the theme of poetry was mostly central to love. Sidney writes a series of poems speaking of love, asking the moon if “beauties [in heaven] are as proud as here they be” (Sonnet 31). Sonnet 39 also speaks of love, asking for sleep to come and cure him of his lovesickness. This sort of poetry was typical for the Renaissance time period.
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