He also wrote Astrophil and Stella, a sonnet sequence with semi-autobiographical elements where he tries about 108 different times to woo the same lady and is rejected each time. On the most rudimentary level, they are just words, elaborate fictions, organized within a specific structure on the page. And enjoyment is the key to convincing people to apply moral lessons to their own lives. Mirror of Magistrates 47 11. For, as the image of each action stirreth and instructeth the mind, so the lofty image of such worthies most inflameth the mind with desire to be worthy, and informs with counsel how to be worthy. Wherein if Puglianos strong affection and weak arguments will not satisfy you, I will give you a nearer example of myself, who, I know not by what mischance, in these my not old years and idlest times, having slipped into the title of a poet, am provoked to say something unto you in the defense of that my unelected vocation, which if I handle with more good will than good reasons, bear with me, since the scholar is to be pardoned that followeth the steps of his master.
More, Sir Thomas 17 17, 18. Secondly, that it is the mother of lies. Upon the back of that comes out a hideous monster with fire and smoke, and then the miserable beholders are bound to take it for a cave. Crucial to his defense is the descriptive and the idea that poetry creates a separate reality. But for the uttering sweetly and properly the conceits of the mind, which is the end of speech, that hath it equally with any other tongue in the world; and is particularly happy in compositions of two or three words together, near the Greek, far beyond the Latin,—which is one of the greatest beauties that can be in a language. Truly I could wish—if at least I might be so bold to wish in a thing beyond the reach of my capacity—the diligent imitators of Tully and Demosthenes most worthy to be imitated did not so much keep. The argument scrambles onto firmer ground when Sidney states it in terms of our inability to say for sure what the meaning of a particular historical event is.
His younger sister, , married and was a writer, translator and literary patron. For that wise Solon was directly a poet it is manifest, having written in verse the notable fable of the Atlantic Island which was continued by Plato. But the historian, being captived to the truth of a foolish world, is many times a terror from well-doing, and an encouragement to unbridled wickedness. Sidney stands as an advocate for poetry when it is under fire and devalued in England. Poetry has a moral purpose, therefore, con sisting in leading men to truth by integrating, not dividing knowledge. And this poesy must be used by whosoever will follow St. Later, he returned to England to take up the Puritan political cause, rebuking the Queen for considering a marriage to the Duke of Alencon a brother of the Romanist French King and working hard for a grand European Protestant alliance against the Roman Catholics.
And no less of the rest which take upon them to affirm. Since, then, poetry is of all human learnings the most ancient and of most fatherly antiquity, as from whence other learnings have taken their beginnings; since it is so universal that no learned nation doth despise it, nor barbarous nation is without it; since both Roman and Greek gave divine names unto it, the one of prophesying, the other of making, and that indeed that name of making is fit for him, considering that whereas other arts retain themselves within their subjects, and receive, as it were, their being from it, the poet only bringeth his own stuff, and doth not learn a conceit out of a matter, but maketh matter for a conceit; since neither his description nor his end containeth any evil, the thing described cannot be evil; since his effects be so good as to teach goodness, and delight the learners of it; since thereinnamely in moral doctrine, the chief of all knowledgeshe doth not only far pass the historian, but for instructing is well nigh comparable to the philosopher, and for moving leaveth him behind him; since the Holy Scripture, wherein there is no uncleanness, hath whole parts in it poetical, and that even our Saviour Christ vouchsafed to use the flowers of it; since all his kinds are not only in their united forms, but in their several dissections fully commendable; I think, and think I think rightly, the laurel crown appointed for triumphant captains doth worthily, of all other learnings, honor the poets triumph. Pompey and Cicero slain then, when they would have thought exile a happiness? I conclude, therefore, that he excels history, not only in furnishing the mind with knowledge, but in setting it forward to that which deserves to be called and accounted good; which setting forward, and moving to well-doing, indeed sets the laurel crown upon the poet as victorious, not only of the historian, but over the philosopher, howsoever in teaching it may be questionable. We delight in good chances, we laugh at mischances. Indeed, the scholar of ancient literature will soon realise that song and fiction were almost indistinguishable up until the Enlightenment. They say the comedies rather teach than reprehend amorous conceits. For the question is, whether the feigned image of poesy, or the regular instruction of philosophy, hath the more force in teaching.
In this kind, though in a full wrong divinity, were Orpheus, Amphion, Homer in his Hymns, and many other, both Greeks and Romans. It can make new worlds; it can make Earth better than nature even intended. For some that thought this felicity principally to be gotten by knowledge, and no knowledge to be so high or heavenly as acquaintance with the stars, gave themselves to astronomy; others, persuading themselves to be demi-gods if they knew the causes of things, became natural and supernatural philosophers. The notion, as seen in , is that poetry privileges , imagination and modes of understanding. Truly, for myself, me seems I see before mine eyes the lost childs disdainful prodigality, turned to envy a swines dinner; which by the learned divines are thought not historical acts, but instructing parables. He has some very interesting ideas. Poetry is the most effective teacher of virtue for those who have an emotional temperament.
Homer, a Greek, flourished before Greece flourished; and if to a slight conjecture a conjecture may be opposed, truly it may seem, that as by him their learned men took almost their first light of knowledge, so their active men received their first motions of courage. For, for the ancient, the Italian is so full of vowels that it must ever be cumbered with elisions; the Dutch so, of the other side, with consonants, that they cannot yield the sweet sliding fit for a verse. But hereto is replied that the poets give names to men they write of, which argueth a conceit of an actual truth, and so, not being true, proveth a falsehood. There were several early editions of the book. The English is subject to none of these defects. Of this have been three general kinds. Much-like 20 matter doth Livy record of Tarquinius and his son.
But truly I imagine if falleth out with these poet-whippers as with some good women who often are sick, but in faith they cannot tell where. The latter likewise with his rime strikes a certain music to the ear; and, in fine, since it doth delight, though by another way, it obtains the same purpose; there being in either, sweetness, and wanting in neither, majesty. Already during his own lifetime, but even more after his death, he had become for many English people the very epitome of a courtier: learned and politic, but at the same time generous, brave, and impulsive. It must be understood that no attempt has been made to note mere differences of spelling and punctuation. But I speak to this purpose, that all the end of the comical part be not upon such scornful matters as stir laughter only, but mixed with it that delightful teaching which is the end of poesy. Delight has a joy in it either permanent or present; laughter has only a scornful tickling. The Shepherds Calendar hath much poetry in his eclogues, indeed worthy the reading, if I be not deceived.
I didn't always agree with all of the statements he made. Tully taketh much pains, and many times not without poetical helps, to make us know the force love of our country hath in us. Let but Sophocles bring you Ajax on a stage, killing and whipping sheep and oxen, thinking them the army of Greeks, with their chieftains Agamemnon and Menelaus, and tell me if you have not a more familiar insight into anger, than finding in the schoolmen his genus and difference. For Xenophon, who did imitate so excellently as to give us effigiem justi imperii—the portraiture of a just empire under the name of Cyrus as Cicero says of him —made therein an absolute heroical poem; so did Heliodorus in his sugared invention of that picture of love in Theagenes and Chariclea; and yet both these wrote in prose. Nature never set forth the earth in so rich tapestry as divers poets have done; neither with pleasant rivers, fruitful trees, sweet-smelling flowers, nor whatsoever else may make the too-much-loved earth more lovely; her world is brazen, the poets only deliver a golden. During his absence from court, he wrote and the first draft of The Arcadia and. But the historian, being captived to the truth of a foolish world, is many times a terror from well-doing, and an encouragement to unbridled wickedness.