Philip Sidney

Essay by tennis8917University, Bachelor'sA, October 2014

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Alicia Nichols

Dr. Mattison


21 October 2013

Sidney Assignment

Part 1 Option A

Throughout the entirety of Sidney's sonnet sequence Astrophil and Stella, he emphasizes the physical act of writing through the paired metaphor of the hand and the pen. By emphasizing the physical act of writing and the act of attesting his love concretely to paper with use of the pen and his hand, Sidney is laying claim to the authenticity and originality of his love and by extension his poetry.

The idea of originality and authenticity is made an apparent theme starting with the first sonnet of Sidney's sequence. "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," (5-7). These lines from the first sonnet express Sidney's internal struggle with how to truthfully capture the love he feels for Stella through his poetry.

When he says " Oft turning others' leaves, to see if thence would flow" Sidney is referring to looking to other poets as a means to teach him how to capture his love on paper. His inner struggle with adequately and truthfully expressing his love for Stella is remedied when he writes, "Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite,/ 'fool,' said my muse to me; 'look in thy heart, and write"(13-14). The reference to his truant pen can be read as an extension of his mind and its truancy being the inability to produce "fit words", something that is later solved when he concludes to " look in thy heart, and write". Sidney comes to the realization that in order to truthfully portray the love he believes to hold for Stella he need not look to other poets for example but simply...