Intro to Sonnet Sequence

502 Words3 Pages
Intro to Sonnet Sequence Composed by Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella became the first famous English sonnet sequences in the 1580s. It contains 108 sonnets and even 11 songs. Also for his sonnets, he adopted the Petrarchan rhyme scheme (abba abba cdecde). Unlike Sir Thomas Wyatt, and others who wrote excellent poetry, Sidney was the only one who linked his poems to a certain subject and theme. Each of his sonnets addresses to Astophel’s love for Stella. Note that it is speculated that the sonnet sequence of Astrophel and Stella was a direct link to Philip Sidney’s own personal love; Astrophel was Sidney himself and his love, Penelope rich, was Stella. Some examples of his sonnets: Sonnet 31 explains how the Speaker feels about love, while in Sonnet 39 explains how the Speaker plans on doing to see his love once more. Sonnet 31 opens up with the Speaker (Astrophel) looking up at the moon and asking why it is so pale and weak. The moon’s condition also reflects on how the Speaker feels about love. He then ask the moon many other questions, mainly about love. He asks the moon whether or not constant love is for fools. He means is it stupid for loving a person forever even though they don’t love you in return? He also wants to know why lovers who keep loving the same person are always in pain instead happiness. He thinks their virtue (faith) is full of unpleasantness. Sonnet 39 explains how sleeping will help the Speaker (Astrophel) to see his lover. Seeing his lover is a way for him to get out of the painful state he is in. Note that Sleep and Despair are given human-like qualities. The Speaker first explains why sleeping is a person’s only true freedom. It is “the poor man’s wealth, the prisoner’s release, the indifferent judge between the high and low.” When people are sleeping they only do want thing, dream. People can dream anything they wish, like
Open Document