Astrophil And Stella Sonnet 1 Critical Analysis Essay

Poetic analysis covers all devices from elements, like structure and rhyme, to techniques, like metonymy and metaphor. In this present format, I can provide a rudimentary analysis that you can expand upon.

The structure of Sonnet 1 keeps the Petrarachan form in that there is one volta at line 9 but follows the English sonnet form, immortalized by Shakespeare, in tht it has 3 quatrains (4 lines) and an ending couplet (2 lines). The rhyme scheme is ababababcdcd ee. The first two quatrains repeat the abab rhyme but the third quatrain turns to a cdcd scheme that reinforces the volta, which is a turn in subject under the central topic of the poem. This line 9 volta turns from talking about what Astrophil sought to do:

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show, 
That she (dear She) might take some pleasure of my pain:
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe, 
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain:

and turns to how he failed to do it:

But words came halting forth, wanting Invention's stay, 
Invention, Nature's child, fled step-dame Study's blows,

The paradox or problem of the sonnet is resolved in the couplet when Astrophil tells what was revealed to him: "Fool," said my Muse to me, "look in thy heart and write."

The most prominent poetic technique in Sonnet 1 is Sydney's use of metaphor to illuminate the nature of poetry. Poetry is painting, "paint the blackest face ...." Poetry is "inventions fine," fine words in newly created expressions. Poetry is "fresh and fruitful showers" of imagery and imagination. Finally, poetry unwritten, like Astrophil's, is a full-term but undelivered pregnancy and the "throes" of labor pains that precede birth: "Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes, ...."

Analysis of Astrophil and Stella by Sir Phillip Sidney Essay

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Analysis of Astrophil and Stella by Sir Phillip Sidney

In Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophil and Stella "Sonnet 1," there is an observable poetic structure that can be analyzed on a literal as well as a figurative level in an attempt to gain a logical understanding of the poem. Sidney's style of writing appears to be easily interpreted on a literal level, yet there is a deeper and more complex dimension of figurative elements, such as metaphors, that require further exploration and examination to unveil their complete meaning. In addition, this sonnet encompasses complex speech that must be interpreted through its underlying meaning and not what it appears to be on the surface. Firstly, Sidney uses a fairly concise structure…show more content…

When reading, there is a tendency to slow down the "B" words to capture their actual meanings. The turn, or deviation of tone, appears between the octave of the first eight lines and the sestet of the last six lines where the variation in rhyme scheme also takes place. At this point, the tone change suggests the speaker has a blank mind due to an absence of imagination causing a lack of words to express the ideas that he is so filled with. On a more literal level, there are several aspects that compliment and are complimented by the structure of this poem, such as tone, metaphor, and other literary elements. Firstly, the speaker of this poem is a lover who is attempting to write to his love to try to make her feel so beloved and overtaken by the most perfect words he has chosen, yet in the midst of him trying to write, his mind goes blank and he cannot think of anything to say to her. The angry tone toward the end of the sonnet is evident by the speaker saying, "Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite" (line 13). The speaker also seems woeful when he says, "Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes" (line12) which is ironic because he is trying to make his love woeful, yet he is the one who is sad and wallowing in his pain. Through the fast-paced flow of the poem, we as readers are forced to understand that his anger is a legitimate result of "Nature" failing to grant him an imagination to compose love poetry. Our tendency to

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