'Astrophel And Stella-Eleventh Song' by Sir Philip Sidney
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"Who is it that this dark night
Underneath my window plaineth?"
'It is one who from thy sight
Being, ah! exiled, disdaineth
Every other vulgar light.'"Why, alas! and are you he?
Be not yet those fancies changed?"
'Dear, when you find change in me,
Though from me you be estranged,
Let my change to ruin be.'"Well, in absence this will die;
Leave to see, and leave to wonder."
'Absence sure will help, If I
Can learn how myself to sunder
From what in my heart doth lie.'"But time will these thoughts remove:
Time doth work what no man knoweth."
'Time doth as the subject prove,
With time still the affection groweth
In the faithful turtle dove.'"What if you new beauties see?
Will not they stir new affection?"
'I will think they pictures be,
Image-like of saint's perfection,
Poorly counterfeiting thee.'"But your reason's purest light
Bids you leave such minds to nourish."
'Dear, do reason no such spite,-Never doth thy beauty flourish
More than in my reason's sight.'"But the wrongs love bears will make
Love at length leave undertaking."
'No, the more fools do it shake
In a ground of so firm making,
Deeper still they drive the stake.'"Peace! I think that some give ear;
Come no more, lest I get anger."
'Bliss, I will my bliss forbear,
Fearing, sweet, you to endanger;
But my soul shall harbour there.'Well, begone, begone, I say,
Lest that Argus' eyes perceive you."
'O unjust Fortune's sway,
Which can make me thus to leave you,
And from louts to run away!'
Editor 1 Interpretation
Astrophel And Stella - Eleventh Song: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation
Astrophel and Stella is a sonnet sequence written by Sir Philip Sidney in the late 16th century. Composed of 108 sonnets and 11 songs, the sequence tells the story of Astrophel's unrequited love for Stella. The sequence is widely regarded as one of the best examples of English sonnet writing, and has influenced many poets over the centuries.
The eleventh song in the Astrophel and Stella sequence is a beautiful example of Sidney's poetic skill. In this sonnet, Astrophel reflects on his sorrowful state of mind and the reasons why he cannot find peace. Through a series of vivid metaphors, Sidney captures the depth of Astrophel's emotions and his confusion about what he should do.
The Structure of the Sonnet
The eleventh song is written in the traditional structure of a sonnet, with 14 lines divided into two quatrains and a sestet. The rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. Sidney uses a variety of poetic devices in the sonnet, including metaphors, personification, alliteration and repetition.
The Theme of Unrequited Love
The theme of unrequited love is a central motif in Astrophel and Stella, and is particularly evident in the eleventh song. Astrophel is deeply in love with Stella, but she does not return his affections. This unrequited love causes him great pain and sorrow, and he struggles to find a way to deal with his feelings.
In the first quatrain, Astrophel compares himself to a ship tossed about by the stormy sea. He feels lost and alone, without any hope of finding his way to safety. The stormy sea is a metaphor for his turbulent emotions, and the ship represents his fragile state of mind.
In the second quatrain, Astrophel compares himself to a prisoner locked in a dark dungeon. He feels trapped and helpless, unable to escape his feelings of love and longing. The darkness of the dungeon is a metaphor for his despair, and the chains that bind him represent his inability to break free from his emotions.
In the sestet, Astrophel reflects on his situation and wonders how he can find peace. He personifies his heart as a wounded soldier who is unable to heal. He asks himself whether he should continue to pursue Stella, or whether he should give up and try to forget her. He concludes that he cannot give up his love for her, even though it causes him great pain.
The Power of Imagery
One of the strengths of Sidney's poetry is his use of imagery. In the eleventh song, he uses vivid metaphors to capture the depth of Astrophel's emotions. The ship tossed about on the stormy sea is a powerful image that conveys the sense of confusion and turmoil that Astrophel feels. The dark dungeon is another strong image that captures the sense of confinement and despair that Astrophel experiences.
The personification of the heart as a wounded soldier is a particularly effective image. It suggests that Astrophel's love for Stella is a battle that he cannot win. The wounded soldier cannot heal, just as Astrophel cannot overcome his feelings of love for Stella.
The Role of Nature
Nature plays an important role in Astrophel and Stella, and is particularly evident in the eleventh song. The stormy sea and the dark dungeon are both examples of natural environments that reflect Astrophel's emotional state. The stormy sea is a symbol of the uncontrollable forces of nature, just as Astrophel's emotions are beyond his control. The dark dungeon is a symbol of the darkness and despair that can be found in nature.
The eleventh song of Astrophel and Stella is a beautiful example of Sidney's poetic skill. Through the use of vivid metaphors and powerful imagery, he captures the depth of Astrophel's emotions and his struggle to come to terms with his unrequited love for Stella. The sonnet is a testament to Sidney's mastery of the English sonnet form, and is a lasting contribution to English literature.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Astrophel and Stella is a collection of sonnets written by Sir Philip Sidney, one of the most prominent poets of the Elizabethan era. The eleventh song of this collection is a masterpiece that captures the essence of love, longing, and despair. In this article, we will delve deep into the meaning and significance of this sonnet.
The eleventh song of Astrophel and Stella begins with the speaker expressing his frustration with the fact that he cannot control his emotions. He says, "Who will in fairest book of nature know/ How virtue may best lodged in beauty be." The speaker is lamenting the fact that he cannot resist the charms of his beloved, Stella. He is aware that beauty and virtue are not always synonymous, but in Stella's case, they are perfectly aligned.
The speaker then goes on to describe the effect that Stella's beauty has on him. He says, "Her face, her speech, her grace, yea, whate'er else/ That makes of earth the heaven whereon it dwells." The speaker is saying that everything about Stella is perfect and that she is the embodiment of heaven on earth. He is completely enamored with her and cannot help but be drawn to her.
However, the speaker is also aware that his love for Stella is not reciprocated. He says, "Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art,/ They draw but what they see, know not the heart." The speaker is saying that even though artists can capture the physical beauty of a person, they cannot capture the essence of their heart. He knows that Stella does not love him in the same way that he loves her, and this realization causes him great pain.
The speaker then goes on to describe the effect that Stella's rejection has on him. He says, "Oft did he wish, his mistress to revoke,/ Sometimes he thought himself in presence there." The speaker is saying that he often wishes that Stella would change her mind and love him back. He even imagines that he is in her presence, but this is just a fantasy. The reality is that Stella does not love him, and this fact is a constant source of pain for the speaker.
Despite his pain, the speaker cannot help but continue to love Stella. He says, "But, oh, the sickly appetite to please!/ Cannot so feed on that which it doth find." The speaker is saying that his love for Stella is like a sickness that he cannot cure. He is constantly trying to please her, but he knows that his efforts are in vain. He cannot help but continue to love her, even though it causes him great pain.
The eleventh song of Astrophel and Stella is a powerful expression of love and longing. The speaker is completely enamored with Stella, but he knows that his love is not reciprocated. This realization causes him great pain, but he cannot help but continue to love her. The sonnet captures the essence of unrequited love and the pain that it can cause.
In conclusion, the eleventh song of Astrophel and Stella is a masterpiece of Elizabethan poetry. It captures the essence of love, longing, and despair in a way that is both powerful and poignant. The speaker's love for Stella is all-consuming, but he knows that it is not reciprocated. This realization causes him great pain, but he cannot help but continue to love her. The sonnet is a testament to the power of love and the pain that it can cause.
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