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Transcript of Sidney
the context of the time
the poet PHILIP SIDNEY
Astrophil and Stella
During the reign of Elizabeth I, the last ruler of the Tudor dynasty, from 1558 to 1603, England experienced an intense phase of economic and cultural development. The reign not only marked the debut of England as a great power in the European scene, but was characterized by a large cultural and civil development, which is known to history as "Elizabethan age". This flowering dabbled in literature and mainly in the theater, music and architecture.
Sir Philip Sidney born in 1554 at Penshurst Place, Kent, was a classic gentleman of the Elizabethan Age: knight, member of Parliament, diplomat and also a poet. He traveled in Europe and met a number of intellectuals and politicians. In England Sidney occupied himself with politics and art. Sidney was a keenly militant protestant and in 1585 he was in the Netherlands-Flanders where fought for the protestant cause against Spanish, but 26 days after the Battle of Zutphen he died, at the age of 31.
Already during his own lifetime, but even more after his death, he had become for many English people as a Renaissance Man: learned and politic, but at the same time generous, brave and impulsive.
None of his work was published while he was alive. In 1591 was published the famous collection of the sonnets Astrophil and Stella' (108 sonnets and 11 songs), the first true English songbook in manner of Petrarch.
Loving in Truth
Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That she, dear she, might take some pleasure of my pain,
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,—
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe;
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain,
Oft turning others’ leaves to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sun-burned brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting invention’s stay;
Invention, nature’s child, fled step-dame Study’s blows,
And others’ feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite,
Fool, said my muse to me, look in thy heart and write.
Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to sh
That she, dear she, might take some
leasure of my
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her kn
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obta
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of w
Studying inventions fine, her wits to enterta
Oft turning others’ leaves to see if thence would fl
uitful showers upon my sun-
But words came halting forth, wanting invention’s st
, fled step-dame
And others’ feet still seemed but strangers in my w
great with child to speak, and helpless in my thr
iting my truant pen,
eating myself for spite,
Fool, said my muse to me, look in thy heart and write
metaphor: female sphere, childbirth
personification: Sidney understands that imitation will never triumph over ‘Invention'. Everyone knows that you cannot control nature. The fact that Sidney refers to ‘Invention’ as “Nature’s child,” he must mean to say that creativity always tops ‘Study,’ which means imitation.
Astrophil and Stella talks about a knight named Astrophil, in the middle of an affair of courtly love with a Lady already taken, Stella. We hear the poet's thoughts and see his experience. As he suffers in his futile attempt to win Stella’s love, a love he desires but a love he also knows he could never realize. So we get all of the mental arguments the Astrophil makes with himself, where he tries to justify his love, or when he tries to bend the love he feels for Stella into something virtuous.
Astrophil and Stella (composed in the 1580s, published in 1591), containing 108 sonnets and 11 songs. The name derives from the two Greek words, 'aster' (star) and 'phil' (lover), and the Latin word 'stella' meaning star. Thus Astrophil is the star lover, and Stella is his star.
Amando e desiderando di mostrare il mio amore in versi
così che lei (Stella),lei cara, potrebbe trarre del piacere dal mio dolore
il piacere potrebbe spingerla a leggere, e la letture potrebbe farle sapere (di me)
e la conoscenza potrebbe vincere la pietà e la pietà potrebbe ottenere la grazia.
Ho cercato parole adatte per dipingere il volto più nero di tristezza ( o dolore)
studiando piacevoli invenzioni per intrattenere (allietare) il suo spirito
spesso voltando le pagine di altri per vedere se da lì fresche e feconde
idee scendessero nel mio cervello ustionato dal sole.
Ma le parole uscivano in modo poco convincente
mancando dell'appoggio dell' Invenzione
L'invenzione,figlia della Natura,sfuggita madre ai colpi dello Studio
e i versi degli altri sembravano stranieri nel mio percorso.
Così gravido di parole e privo d'aiuto nelle mie doglie
battendo la mia neghittosa penna
battendo me stesso per dispetto
"pazzo" mi ha detto la mia Musa:guarda nel tuo cuore e scrivi.
Virginia palmieri 3D
the sonnet as a literary genre
The sonnet as a poetic form evolved in the thirteenth and fourteenth century in Italy (with poets like Petrarca), but it became most famous as the dominant poetic tradition in sixteenth century in England. Poets like Sidney wrote sonnets were not just separate poems written here and there. They wrote their sonnets in cycles, a lifetime of sonnets combining to form a long narrative. Sonnet cycles were very long.
The sonnet is a very crafted, and difficult structure. Generally, sonnets are all fourteen lines long, each line in iambic pentameter (a pattern in which an unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed syllable five times) and each poet used a particular rhyme scheme that remains constant through the whole sonnet cycle. But not all English sonnets have the same metrical structure. The first sonnet in Sir Philip Sidney's sequence Astrophil and Stella, for example, has 12 syllables; these lines are iambic hexameters.