Comparing The Sonnet And Philip Sidney ( Astrophil And Stella 1

762 Words Jul 16th, 2016 4 Pages
In both sonnets from John Keats (On the Sonnet) and Philip Sidney (Astrophil and Stella 1), the writers make direct references to the fact they are writing a sonnet. Analogous to breaking the fourth wall in film, the reader is made aware that the speakers know that they are speaking in sonnet form. Both poems also explore the restrictions and constraints of the sonnet, and yet present a sonnet by the end product. It is ironic of both poets albeit effective in their own right. Keats seems to have distaste to the form itself, whereas Sidney is simply unaware of how he will be able to express himself in the form and essentially doesn’t meet all the general requirements of it.

In Keats On the Sonnet, the speaker indicates that they are limited “by dull rhymes”, and due to this lose what is beautiful about poetry to meet the strict formal rules of a sonnet. He suggests that the strict form of sonnet “chains” poetry. He compares sonnets to “Andromeda” from Greek mythology, who was stripped and chained naked to a rock. The speaker is indicating that even though sonnets are beautiful, they are trapped in their own strict requirements. He continues on to compare sonnets to a lyre, stating that if they were to “weigh the stress/Of every chord”, they would be able to find a way to improve its sound, which the speaker believes should be done to free poetry from the sonnet’s “chains”. He insists that poets should be “Misers” of their work, the way Kind Midas was of his gold. There is…

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