Sumaira final assgn


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Sumaira final assgn

  2. 2. Sidney’s golden world:- 2012 SYDNEY’S GOLDEN WORLDAmong the English critics, Philip Sidney possesses a very significant place. In hispoetry, he made a defense against all the charges made against poetry since Plato. Duethe criticism he is known as the “father of English criticism”. In the Renaissance period,folks were attacking literature as they became corrupt. They want to abridge thatstudents study in schools. One of the Renaissance writers, Stephen Gosson in the“School of Abuse” made charges against poetry In "An Apology for Poetry" Sir PhilipSidney attempts to illustrate the importance of literature to society.Sidney finds poetry as “the first light-giver to ignorance and first nurse”. It gavenourishment to other fields of knowledge. The first philosophers and Historians werepoets. They borrowed the “fashion and perchance weight of the poets”. Philosophersappear to the world “under the mask of poets”.Poetry, according to Sidney, “is an art of imitation, a representing, counterfeiting, orfiguring forth; to speak metaphorically, a speaking picture, with this end, to teach anddelight”.Sidney divides poetry in three categories, first type is religious poetry. Poets who fallunder this category, they “imitate the inconceivable excellencies of God”. Second typeof poet deals with the matters of philosophy, nature, astronomy and history. Third kindof poets are those who “imitate to teach and delight”. Sidney considers them the “rightpoets” who follow no rules and regulations but only their wit. Sidney judges that paintermeaner who slavishly imitates things as they are before him and he puts philosopher andhistorian under this.Poetry is done in verse form, but it is not the verse form which makes poetry. It is thestory or literary work which makes poetry. Verse is just “an ornament and no cause ofpoetry”. Sidney demonstrates that poet creates things which are new for others. Themesand ideas given by the poet are important. For example if a lawyer wears armor, thendespite of wearing it, he will be a lawyer not the soldier because it is not the gown whichmakes him a lawyer, but the work done by him. Just like this “it is riming and versingthat makes a poet”, but the work. Poet uses verse form but it is not the matter that words fall from the mouth, butarranging that words according to the decorum of the subject. Many historians use verseform and same do the philosophers but they are not poets. Plato who was a philosopherand was against poetry, he used verse form. For example, fable of Atlantic Island whichwas written by Solon and later continued by Plato was nothing and based on imaginationwas written in verse form. Republic was also written in verse form by Plato. It is notversification that makes a person poet, but the creation of new thing. The poets talents twig from the fact that he is able to create from a pre-existing idea thatis called the fore-conceit. Sidney agrees to Plato’s idea of higher world, but he thinksthat poetry leads man to that real world. Plato considers that philosophy leads to thathigher world of being. Plato feels that empiricists try to understand this shadow of thatreal being and only philosopher transcend to that real form of learning. Sidney opposesPlato’s idea and elicit that poetry is able to create a new world from that pre-existingidea of being. “The poet only, only brings his own stuff, and doth not learn a conceit out 2
  3. 3. Sidney’s golden world:- 2012of a matter, but makes matter for a conceit”.According to Sidney, poet being a maker creates the things far most beautiful then thisworld of being. Poet creates a world of happiness and joy that is better then this worldwhich is full of sorrows and sufferings. “Only the poet, disdaining to be tied on any such subjection, lifted up with the vigor ofhis own invention, doth grow, in effect, into another nature, in making things eitherbetter than nature brings forth, or, quite anew, forms such as never were in nature, as theheroes, demi-gods, cyclops, chimeras, furies, and such like”.While Plato illustrates that poet imitates from this world and thus makes a slavish copywhich is thrice removed from the reality. Sidney believes that poets don’t make a slavishcopy of this world but the poet imitates the God’s real idea of being, and “the poets onlydeliver a golden” world, where every thing is perfect.Due to its power of being able to create, Greeks called a poet, “Maker”. Roman calledhim a prophet. Sidney said that poetry is the highest estimation of learning. The mostancient books are of poetry and it is the mother of all knowledges and all other sprungout of it. Poetry is superior to philosophy and history and all other sciences. Showing thesuperiority of poetry to the history and the philosophy Sidney says that while thephilosopher teaches by precept alone and the historian by example alone. Poetry unlikehistory and philosophy deals with both, since it represent the philosopher’s perception inan example. Poetry does not only instruct the individuals, but also provide them astimulus for learning.Poetry should have a moral purpose. It is in the hands of imitator whether he uses it in agood or bad manner. It’s not the art which is good or bad, it is the use of art whichmakes it good or bad. For example if a person owns a sword, then with the help of it hecan kill his father or he can defend his country.“Eikastic” and “Phantastike” are contrary terms. “Eikastic” in general means that poetsown imagination while “phantastike” means that complete mimical or without one’s owncreativity. Plato terms poetry as Phantastike because it only imitates the virtue but poetsdon’t practice and they don’t posses a total knowledge about the thing which they areimitating. Plato considers poetry as an art for art sake but Sidney illustrates poetry asEikastic and considers it an art for life sake. The poet “with his imitation make his own,beautifying it both for further teaching and more delighting”. Poet should have a didacticpurpose and this teaching should be delightful.Sidney further continues with Aristotle’s idea that “it is not Gnosis [knowing] but Praxis[doing] must be the fruit and how Praxis cannot be, without being moved to practice”.Philosophers only tell about good and bad, but it is in our nature to know about good andevil, but the poet can instigate men to desire the good for action is greater thanknowledge. Poetry is even capable of making the unpleasant like war and horror pleasantin terms of the means through which it is presented. “It is that feigning notable images of virtues, vices, or what else, with that delightfulteaching, which must be the right describing to know a poet by.”Teaching is the first and foremost important aspect of poetry. Whatever kind of image isshown its purpose is to teach first. People who read poetry of Amadis de Gaule, havefound their hearts moved to the exercise or courtesy, liberality an especially courage. Forteaching purpose lets take an example of Zopyrus, who was a faithful servant of kinDarius on finding his King disturbed by the rebellious Babylonians cuts his own nose 3
  4. 4. Sidney’s golden world:- 2012and ears and flies to the Babylonians and finds the sources and deliver them to Darius. Poetic imagination brings forth a model on which readers or audiences can build theirown characters for the better.”It work not only to make a Cyrus, which had been but aparticular Excellency as nature might have done, but to bestow a Cyrus upon the worldto make many Cyruses, if they will learn aright, why and how that maker made him.”Comedy imitates the common errors of life. It shows evil characters and doings, but thatdoes not mean that it teaches evil. Those evil characters are given folly shapes in order toteach in a delightful manner.Delight is good for Sidney, because it derives from the recognition of harmony,perfection or goodness. It appeals not only to the senses, but to the understanding aswell. Poetry can catch some of the delight of the senses by means of the words, whichsubstitute sense experience. It also provides, of course, an intellectual delight.Poet’s idea is manifest and if he delivers them rightly as he imagined then his work isnot useless or like building castles in the air. His purpose is to teach others through hispower of imagination. If his idea or theme is exactly conveyed to the reader, then he willbe called prophet.To conclude that, poetry is the mother of all branches of knowledge. Its purpose is toacknowledged people of that divine essence. It aims to make a golden world, which isfree from all tensions and worries and which is full of delight and pleasure. 4
  5. 5. Sidney’s golden world:- 2012References: 5