Please provide brief but detailed answers to the questions below. A short paragraph or two should be sufficient, but you can always write more. Be sure to include sonnet number (or stanza number) and line numbers in your answers and include quotes. You do not have to quote an entire line or lines—just what you need to support your answer. NOTE: answers are worth different points for a total of 10. Deposit your quiz in the D2L Dropbox by Monday, October 1st at 10:00 am.
Compare the first sonnet of Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella to Spenser’s first two sonnets in Amoretti. What are two differences that you think are important?
In Sidney’s first sonnet of Astrophil and Stella, he warns the reader that the emotions expressed in the entire sonnet sequence stem directly from his heart, and because of this he cannot be held rationally responsible for what he says. “Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,”(Astrophil and Stella.
The statements in this first sonnet make clear that Sidney is conflicted in his role as a zealous lover and a self-critical poet. This sonnet demonstrates the first of many clashes between reason and passion that appear in the sonnet sequence. He already seems to know that he will never truly win Stella, but he cannot help but desire her.
In Spenser’s first three sonnets of Amoretti, Spenser’s beloved holds all of the power; she could kill him, metaphorically speaking, by rejecting his poem, which would the same as rejecting his love.
Spencer is therefore nervous that she may reject his love for her. “-of Helicon whence she derived is,”(Amoretti #1, line 10) The sacred river of the Helicon Mountains was believed to be the source of poetic inspiration, but spencer says that his love interest is his muse and therefore his inspiration to write. Spenser uses an analogy to convince the reader how much his beloved controls his destiny, “When ye behold that Angels blessed looke, My soules long lacked foode, my heavens blis.”(Amoretti #1, line 11&12). His beloved is both his captor and his victor. If she reads the poem she will discover the sorrows of his heart. Spenser tells the poem that when it has her (“Angel”) blessed gaze, his starving soul is in heavenly bliss.
One of the differences I find important between the two sonnets, is how much of drastic change there is in the author’s attitude toward their beloved. Sydney is conscious of the fact that he will never truly win Stella’s heart and so, as a way for him, and Stella to understanding his emotions, and or desires for her, he writes about his love of her in such a way that she can understand. Spencer takes a slightly more dramatic approach, saying that his beloved holds all of the power; she could kill him, metaphorically speaking, by rejecting his poem, which ultimately would the same as rejecting his love. Spencer is writing to win his beloved over, whereas Sydney is writing to explore his emotions for Stella in a way that she too can understand. Another difference found in the two sonnets is the inspiration of for their writing.
Sydney’s problem is that he cannot write, “Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburn’d brain.” and so in his incapability, he finds other peoples ideas to utilize. Spencer on the contrary knows exactly where his inspiration lies, and that is with his beloved. “-of Helicon whence she derived is,” The sacred river of the Helicon Mountains was believed to be the source of poetic inspiration, but spencer says that his love interest is his muse and therefore his inspiration to write. In Sonnet #15, why don’t the merchants need to go to the East and West Indies? (1 point)
Spencer compares his beloved’s virtues to worldly riches, particularly those treasures in which merchants trade. Rather than describe her beauty as superior to earthly riches, he makes each aspect of her charm a direct comparison to a particular item of value. Her eyes are sapphires, her lips are rubies, her teeth are pearls, her forehead is ivory, her hair is finest gold, and her hands are silver. Spencer is indicating to the merchants that they do not need to go to the East and West Indies because all the treasure in the world is embodied in his beloved.
How does Spenser engage the neoplatonic tradition? Identify and briefly explain two examples from the assigned sonnets. One example of Spenser engaging in the neoplatonic tradition is found in his 15th sonnet, “All this world’s riches that may farre be found: If saphyres, loe her eies be saphyres plaine; If rubies, loe her lips be rubies sound” Spencer is in a state of idealization, where he is comparing his beloved to nearly every worldly treasure, stating that she is more valuable, or as valuable, than all these items of material value. Spencer is making an Ideal out of both her beauty and her value.
The second example of Spenser engaging in the Neoplatonic tradition is found in his 54th sonnet where he quotes, “What then can move her? if nor merth nor mone, she is no woman, but a sencelesse stone.”. Spencer recognizes that her love is not on his level, but rather than say she is unmoved by his performance because she is some kind of angelic being, he debases her nature, accusing her of being of an inanimate nature. This is where the neoplatonic tradition of the divine vs ennoblement of lover comes into play, because his hope, of course, is that she would settle in the middle and really be a ennobled woman instead of an angelic being or inanimate object.
In what ways is “Astrophil” different from the Amoretti’s persona? Do they have different concerns, present different situations, etc.? Briefly discuss two of them. In Astrophil, the first sonnet of the sequence, the persona is expressed in his wish to find “fit words to entertain lady’s wit”. In his search for help he requires “Invention’s stay” to make the beloved aware of his suffering. In Sidney’s sonnet sequence we read of the persona’s perpetual wish to be with Stella, together with references to natural imagery. This is contrary to Spencer, where he portrays the persona of a shepherd, lover, and bridegroom. Sydney’s persona’s main concern is for Stella to understand his suffering that he endures because of his want to be with her.
Spencer’s persona is concerned with being a better lover so he can win his beloved over with his hyperbolic passion for her. Another difference between the two personas is the different situations in which they find themselves in. For instance. Sydney finds himself in situations where he is in an inquiry for the nature of love “I saw, and liked; I liked, but loved not;I loved, but straight did not what love decreed;”(Astrophil and Stella sonnet 2, line 5,6), For instance here he is defirecating the difference between a subtle like and a passionate love. As for spencer, he desperate for love and seeks it before knowing what it truly is.“What then can move her? if nor merth nor mone, she is no woman, but a sencelesse stone.” In a way, Spencer’s persona is saying that a woman’s love can be earned by any means, even if she does not want the love that is offered, “What then can move her?”. Contrary to Sydney’s persona, Spencer’s persona does not know that love is something to seek instead of a persistence to, “conquer”.
The poet begins by saying that it is harder to be continent (temperate, self-restrained) in the face of pleasure than wrath, and that Guyon, the knight of temperance, is strong in both situations. We meet Cymocles, who is in pursuit of Guyon because he mistakenly believes that Guyon killed his brother, Pyrocles, and he wants revenge (Atin is strife, and stirs men to vicious actions). Cymocles sees a lady in a small boat. Disclaimer: I used this website to read, “The Faerie Queene Book 2, canto 6, stanzas 1-26”, because I could not find it on D2L. What does the boat look like and why should we be wary? That is, are there any words or features of the boat that seems suspicious? Identify two.
The first thing to appear suspicious is the fact that the boat might be guiding and or driving itself, “Withouten Oar or Pilot it to guide,”(The Canto 6, stanza 6, line 3). The second is the boat seems to have no way of moving, “Or winged Canvas with the Wind to fly;”(The Canto 6, stanza 6, line 4), the boat essentially would be at a standstill. What does the Lady do that should alert us to her real nature? Identify two things. (1 point) “With one sweet drop of sensuall delight: So easie is, t’appease the stormie wind
Of malice in the calme of pleasant womankind.” Phaedra’s appearance of harmlessness is actually a big part of what makes her threatening. She doesn’t seem to be an obviously dangerous presence because we don’t recognize the temptations of sensuality, over-the-top sexuality, and pleasure that she stands for as easily.“Thus when she had his eyes and senses fed With false delights, and fild with pleasures vaine,”(The Canto 6, stanza 14, line 1,2), Phaedria embodies not only pleasure, but the illusion of self-sufficiency and self-pleasure. How does Guyon’s response to Phaedria (“the shining one”) and his trip differ from what Cymocles does? (1 point)
Cymochles finds the Phaedria waiting in a boat. She agrees to take him across the lake, but when she begins speaking, Cymochles falls asleep. She leaves the sleeping Cymochles on an island in the lake, and then returns to shore. Guyon and his guid also finds Phaedria waiting in a boat and she agrees to take him to the island. Guyon gets on the boat and Phaedria tell him that he cannot take his guid with, before he can object, the boat takes off. “Guyon was loath to leaue his guide behind,Yet being entred, might not backe retyre; For the flit barke, obaying to her mind, Forth launched quickly, as she did desire,”
When Guyon arrives on the island, Cymochles is awake and falls upon him in battle. Phaedria halts the battle and takes Guyon back to shore, leaving Cymochles on the island. The key difference between the two trips is how both of them responded to the temptation of Phaedria. Although Guyon left his guide, as did Cymochles, Guyon did so in an almost accidental manner because he was not able to object before the boat took off, whereas Cymochles left his guid willingly. When Cymochles was taken across the lake him and Phaedria laughed and told stories, this is contrary to Guyon’s experience where he was irritated by Phaedria storytelling and laughter. To reiterate Cymochles fell under Phaedria temptation whereas Guyon did not, or at least