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Sonnet No 5, Astrophil and Stella

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Astrophil and Stella

Sonnet 5

I chose the sonnet number 5 in the Astrophil and Stella sonnet series by Sir Philip Sidney. I chose it for two reasons. The poem is beautifully written about eyes playing a major role in love, and revolves around the belief that romantic love is against Christian doctrines and yet contrasts the same idea with merely a line which makes it different from the sonnet patterns that we have studied in class.

This structure and pattern of the poem is a little different from the ones that we have studied in class. It is a lot like the Shakespearean sonnet in rhyming scheme but it is different in that instead of resolving the issue in the last rhyming couplet it is resolved in just one line. All through the poem he makes the point that though eyes are supposed to be the window to ones soul, they make a man fall in love. He maintains that romantic love is against the church and that eyes show you only physical beauty which is mortal but in the last line he turns it all around. He admits to the fact that even knowing about all this to be true he still loves Stella.

I like the elegance with which he links eyes with each stanza. The second stanza starts with him stating that Cupid's Dart is a myth that humans came up with for their own ease. A common myth about which is that Cupid shoots through the eyes. Similarly, the third stanza talks about beauty as a virtue and how its only skin deep which also relates to the eyes in that skin deep beauty attracts the eyes. It's beautiful how he starts with the eyes and yet without repeating the word again ties it up with all the other points he makes.

I like the poem for both its different form and the literary beauty of it.



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