Astrophel and Stella | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 28 pages of analysis & critique of Astrophel and Stella.
This section contains 7,029 words
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SOURCE: “Astrophel and Stella: Pure and Impure Persuasion,” in English Literary Renaissance, Vol. 2, No. 1., Winter 1972, pp. 100–15.

In the following essay, Lanham contends that the essential cause of the poem sequence Astrophel and Stella is sexual frustration.

The first sonnet in Sir Philip Sidney's sequence confronts the difficulty of writing poetry with a stale and borrowed rhetoric, the need to seek a fresh source of inspiration in real feeling and, presumably, in an unaffected praise and relationship to his mistress. Style becomes not only means but theme, and this at the earliest possible moment. Sidney betrays, too, that acute self-consciousness wherever we touch him, in life or art. Both poet and poetry assert themselves as of thematic consequence. The first line of the poem opens that dichotomy between words and deeds we come upon so often in the Old Arcadia, and the sonnet as a whole would seem to...

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This section contains 7,029 words
(approx. 24 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Richard Lanham
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Critical Essay by Richard Lanham from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.