Sixteenth-Century Literature, Essay Example
The poem has an end rhyme scheme that is characteristic of Petrarch sonnet. The poem also has fourteen lines that have rhyme patterns at the end of every line creating a rhyme scheme, abbaabbacdcdee, which was the standard rhyme scheme of Italian sonnet of the time, 1235-1294. The first two “abba, abba” formed the first compact part of the poem forms the argument with the second part consisting of the rhyme scheme “cdcdee” proposing the solution. The first part is an octave and the second part a sestet both of which combine to communicate the message of the poem.
Meanwhile, a meter functions to bring life to a poem, and it is the internal rhythm with which a reader can read the poem. Meter in poetry consists of both accented and unaccented syllables that follow a given arrangement known as feet. Syllables are segments of pronunciation that compose a word where for instance, the word “griefs” has two syllables “gri” and “ifs”. It is evident that there is a stress on the first syllable “gri” with the second syllable “efs” remaining unstressed. When determining the meter of a poem, unstressed or short syllables do not add up to the meter and in this poem, most lines embrace the five syllable feet thus making an Iambic meter. For example, line one of the poems “Woe, /having made/ with /many fights/ his own” has ten syllables thus translating to five iambs, hence an iambic pentameter.
The poem is about a love and relationship affair gone badly where Astrophil is so in love with Stella, who is not reciprocating his love. This is such an absurd thing to happen for anybody who despite loving someone the person never cares about the other person’s feelings. Astrophil then decides to write to his lover, Stella, complaining and expressing his anguish for Stella’s love. As Astrophil writes, he believes that his complaints would reach Stella in a less expecting time than before that she would not have the ability to guard herself against having a pity towards Astrophil. This is a moment of desperation for Astrophil, and this is because the love he has for Stella makes him form his own assumptions that may favor him and grips unto it as if it is his last hope. Meanwhile, things turn for the best when Stella receives the letter. To a certain degree, Astrophil can say that his prayers had materialized because when Stella receives the poem she not only reads it but also sings the poem. This beauty of singing the poem aloud affected Astrophil in an immense way that he no longer suffered from the anguish of a rejection. This indicates that the sweetness of Stella’s voice transformed Astrophil’s agony into joy, but this is just temporarily because Stella has not accepted his advances to consummate their love.
The author has used a considerable number of metaphors to expand the sense and clarify some things about his feelings and the anguish he is going through in the name of love. When the author says, “Grown now his slaves” he intends to illustrate the consequences of loving without reciprocation, which is the main theme of the poem. This is because of the fact that Astrophil is desperate for Stella’s love, and he writes her a poem that he believes will reach her unawares and accepts his love for her. Therefore, by using the word “slaves” he means that he has become a captive of Stella’s love where all his senses, gifts, and power of mind he has dedicated to winning Stella’s love. This is where he can do anything to have her love him despite her constant rejection.
When the author says “self to groan”, he refers to the joy he will receive when the poem he has written for Stella makes her cry. The word groan emphasizes the effect of the poem, and this is where he expects that Stella react to the poem in a so immense way that it could lead her to accept his love. The use of the word soul arm’d in line seven of the sonnet illustrates how untouched Stella’s heart is, such that he will have to use strong words in the poem to win her. This is because he knows her heart is delicate, and; therefore, he wants to ensure that the words only smother her by enabling her loose the hardness of heart and embrace his love. This metaphor has enhanced the theme of the poem where no matter how hard ones heart may be, there are certain things that can make the person soften his or her heart even if it is just for a moment. This tries to show the humane thing about love and that love does not pay revenge.
Therefore, when the author says, “soon be pierc’d with sharpness of the moan” he tries to portray the effect of his poem because of the lamentations and the groans in inherent in the poem. There is the realization of this effect when Stella not only hears the poem, but also sings the poem in a sweet voice that finally come to fulfill Astrophil’s desires though not completely. Therefore, this metaphor has functioned to enhance the reaction and the anticipated outcome both of which
The poem relates in a considerable number of ways to the conventions of Petrarch poetry, and this is because Just like the Petrarch poems, this Sydney, Astrophil and Stella poem also address the matter of love. The poet who is normally a male addresses a woman where in this poem Sydney is the male author addressing the female Stella. Just like the Petrarch poems, this poem has the poet lover complaining about his subjective experience, which makes him look miserable trying to search for love that seems too hard to consummate. Meanwhile, Petrarch poetry normally employs conflicting and oxymoronic expressions and images to represent some aspects that define the theme of the poem. However, the poem under analysis does not employ this use of imagery thus it has deviated from the Petrarch conventions on this aspect, and this is one of the significant ways in which the poem has deviated from the Petrarch poetry.
This sonnet relates to Astrophil and Stella poem in many ways, and one of them is that it connects the love side and the hatred side as regards the unfolding of Stella’s rejection of Astrophil. This is because in prior sonnets, although Stella does not love Astrophil she continues showing her kindness to him without even snubbing him. When Stella marries another man, Astrophil’s jealousy even grows more as his love for her intensifies, and this is when Sonnet 57 of the poem comes in to the picture. It is noteworthy that, after the poem, Stella softened her heart towards Astrophil, but this did not last. This is because Astrophil took advantage of her kindness to kiss her while she was asleep making Stella reject him outwardly, and reignite her love for Sydney. It is thus a bridge in the poem separating the kindness of Stella and her resentment and the intense feelings of Astrophil for Stella and his waning determination to have her.
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