Head vs. Heart: The Legitimacy of Moral Truths in the Works of Philip Sidney

Since the Greek philosopher Plato banned them from his ideal commonwealth, poets such as Sir Philip Sidney have attempted to defend their work by arguing that poetry and its use of language combine the liveliness of history and the ethical focus of philosophy while simultaneously rousing readers to virtue. Plato believed that poets stirred up … Read moreHead vs. Heart: The Legitimacy of Moral Truths in the Works of Philip Sidney

The Foolishness of Writing in the Poetry of Sir Philip Sidney and John Donne.

Stating that poetry should ‘teach, delight, and move men to take that goodness in hand’[1], it becomes clear why both Philip Sidney in ‘Sonnet 90’ and John Donne’s ‘Triple Fool’ suggest that writing in regards to love is foolish. The poems contain nothing but a lover’s melancholy for their beloved and does not ‘move men … Read moreThe Foolishness of Writing in the Poetry of Sir Philip Sidney and John Donne.

Romantic Love and Early Modern English: The “Trew Fayre” and “Vertuous Mind”

In the period of Early Modern English, romantic love was a major subject in literature. From Hoby’s translation of The Courtier to the various sonnets written during this time, everyone seemed to have something to add regarding their opinions on what exactly love is and the role that love plays in society. Many of the … Read moreRomantic Love and Early Modern English: The “Trew Fayre” and “Vertuous Mind”

The Discipline of Love: A Critical Commentary on Sir Philip Sidney`s “Astrophyl and Stella”

Sir Philip Sidney produced the primary Elizabethan sonnet cycle “Astrophyl and Stella”, which was published posthumously in 1591. The stylistic elements of the sonnet with which he introduces this cycle — including overlap of phrase, sensory detail, imagery, and personification — culminate to portray a speaker’s attempt to compose a sonnet for his beloved in … Read moreThe Discipline of Love: A Critical Commentary on Sir Philip Sidney`s “Astrophyl and Stella”

Dark Beauties in Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Sidney’s “Astrophil and Stella”

Germinating in anonymous Middle English lyrics, the subversion of the classical poetic representation of feminine beauty as fair-haired and blue-eyed took on new meaning in the age of exploration under sonneteers Sidney and Shakespeare. No longer did the brown hair of “Alison” only serve to distinguish her from the pack; the features of the new … Read moreDark Beauties in Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Sidney’s “Astrophil and Stella”

Colonial Beauty in Sidney’s “Astrophil and Stella” and Shaksespeare’s Sonnets

The unique and extraordinary elements of dark beauty translate to an exotic alterity in the poets’ eyes. The more obvious, and traditional, methods bestow the woman with godly attributes. Shakespeare first refutes this resemblance by underscoring his mistress’ earth-bound properties in Sonnet 130: “I grant I never saw a goddess go,/ My mistress, when she … Read moreColonial Beauty in Sidney’s “Astrophil and Stella” and Shaksespeare’s Sonnets

Expression and Emotion in “With how sad step”

Courtier Sir Philip Sidney was a prominent and highly influential literary figure in the Elizabethan age. Critics agree that Sidney was ahead of his time as a writer, and Alexander Gavin refers to the 1590’s as a decade in which he ‘dominated literary culture’,[1] despite his death 4 years earlier. His most famous works include … Read moreExpression and Emotion in “With how sad step”

The Unraveling of Courtly Love: Responses to Petrarchan form in Wyatt, Sidney, and Shakespeare

When Sir Thomas Wyatt decided to introduce the sonnet to England, the result was unexpected to say the least. While Wyatt had been known for lighter riddles, songs and satires, he nevertheless made the surprising choice to focus on a brooding genre so far from his wheelhouse. Even though the English renaissance sonnet is often … Read moreThe Unraveling of Courtly Love: Responses to Petrarchan form in Wyatt, Sidney, and Shakespeare

A Close Reading of Philip Sidney’s ‘Sonnet 27″

Phillip Sidney’s sonnet, ‘Because I oft, in dark abstract guise’, was published posthumously in 1591, and occurs as part of Sidney’s most critically acclaimed work, Astrophel and Stella[1]. Consisting of 108 sonnets and 8 intertwined songs, the sequence is predominantly concerned with the speaker’s emotional state during his obsessive love affair with the more passive … Read moreA Close Reading of Philip Sidney’s ‘Sonnet 27″