` Bergersen 1
12 September 2018
Astrophil and Stella Sonnet One: Sidney’s Two Faces
Emotional stability and instability reside in every individual to set foot on the planet earth. Such is true for fictional characters. One true, trite idea about the hominid race is that while one shows emotions on the outside, be it through speech or body language, another emotion tends to remain hidden within oneself. Sure enough, such a statistic persists in every human, regardless of race, gender, nationality, or even profession. When it comes to expressing one’s emotions, history tells the tale that poets accomplish that much easier than that of the everyday office clerk. For example, take the illustrious Sir Philip Sidney and his poetry; more specifically, his adulation of a beautiful woman portrayed in his work known as Astrophil and Stella. The story of Astrophil and Stella begins in Sidney’s first sonnet of the sequence, where readers are only introduced to Astrophil. He, who one can assume to be a fictional form of the author (Sidney), expresses to readers not only his never-ending love for Stella and his dedication to one day having her, but also shows how selfish one can truly be.
The story of Astrophil and Stella is one of love that is ever so one-sided; In a broad overview, Astrophil is desperate to obtain not only the attention of the one he loves dearly, Stella, but he is also longing for her eventual love. With a deeper analysis, readers can determine that Astrophil is portraying to readers that he loves Stella and wants to show that in his writings. In turn, Stella would see Astrophil’s situation and would somehow find pleasure in his longing. The story is continued by Astrophil describing the perfect outcome that would develop in his life after lines one and two; he mentions that Stella would be blissful enough to read his writings, thus causing her to know of his true feelings. Eventually, according to Astrophil, Stella, with the knowledge of Astrophil’s yearning, would root pity in her and trigger her grace towards him. The idea that Astrophil has of the perfect outcome with Stella reading his desperate creation is shown in the meter of the first five lines of the sonnet. However, he runs into some internal trouble when trying to create his pity-filled inventions for Stella. The main hinderance ends up as his lack of creativity. Astrophil even attempts using others’ ideas for motivation to create his own works, but to no avail other than calling himself a fool.
As mentioned previously, Astrophil has one side that is absolutely infatuated with Stella. However, his other side, or second face, does not come out within the sonnet until line five; beginning at that point, the remainder of the poem is about the second face of Astrophil. A sudden and obvious indicator that Astrophil has switched gears and put on his second face, that of self-determination, is shown in line five where he says, “I sought to ...