AD's English Literature : Defining Rhetoric :Sir Philip Sidney's ASTROPHEL AND STELLA ( Sonnet No 1)

Defining Rhetoric :Sir Philip Sidney's ASTROPHEL AND STELLA ( Sonnet No 1)



ASTROPHEL AND STELLA( Sonnet No 1)
The best known of Sir Philip Sidney's sonnet sequence is  Astrophel and Stella (1591), a sequence of 108 sonnets celebrating an unrequited love affair.
Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That she (dear She) might take some pleasure of my pain:
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain;
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
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sun-burned brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting Invention's stay,
Invention, Nature's child, fled step-dame Study's blows,
And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite—
"Fool," said my Muse to me, "look in thy heart and write."


‘ Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show’----

 This is a case of Hyperbaton since the order of the second part of the verse has been inverted . Instead of "fain in verse my love to show ", it should be " fain my love to show in verse. "

‘ That she, dear she , might take same pleasure of my pain’ ----

This is a case of Epigram since the statement seems to be contradictory .But on thinking more deeply one realizes that she may find  pleasure when she reads his pain fully created poetry .


“ Pleasure might cause her read ,reading might make her know,
 Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,”  ---

 This is case of climax .The ideas are arranged is an ascending order to enhance effect.

“ Oft turning others ‘leaves, to see if thence would flow
 some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sun burnt  brain .” ---

 This  is a case of paronomasia . Here the leaves are loss from those of trees than the papers of a book. 

This is also a case of synecdoche [part for the whole] since the leaves  or pages of a book stand for the entire book . [ some……. Sun burnt brain ]

      This is also a case of Metaphor  since the brain has been compared to be sun burnt. the comparison is drowned in terms of a land suffering from drought . The comparison is not made explicitly.

But words came halting forth, wanting Inventions  stay;
 Invention, Natures child, fled stepdame  study’s blow ; ---

This is a case of personification. ‘Invention’  ‘Nature’ and ‘study’ have all been spoken of as if they were human beings. 
              It is also a case of Metaphor because the relation between Nature and Invention  is compared to the relation between mother and child , while the relation between Invention and study have been compared to the relation between a child and its stepmother .

‘Thus great with child to speak and helpless in my threes.
 Biting my truant pen, beating my self for spites

            This is a case of Metaphor since the poet compares the painful process of writing a poem to the birth pangs of a mother. The comparison is not stated explicitly.
  It is also a case of personal metaphor since the poets instrument ‘pen’ has been spoken as if it were a boy who had run away from school.


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