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Philip Sidney : An Apology for Poetry

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Philip Sidney : An Apology for Poetry

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An Apology for Poetry[7] (also known as A Defence of Poesie and The Defence of Poetry) – Sidney wrote the Defence before 1583. It is generally believed that he was at least partly motivated by Stephen Gosson, a former playwright who dedicated his attack on the English stage, The School of Abuse, to Sidney in 1579, but Sidney primarily addresses more general objections to poetry, such as those of Plato. In his essay, Sidney integrates a number of classical and Italian precepts on fiction. The essence of his defence is that poetry, by combining the liveliness of history with the ethical focus of philosophy, is more effective than either history or philosophy in rousing its readers to virtue. The work also offers important comments on Edmund Spenser and the Elizabethan stage. from wikipidea

An Apology for Poetry[7] (also known as A Defence of Poesie and The Defence of Poetry) – Sidney wrote the Defence before 1583. It is generally believed that he was at least partly motivated by Stephen Gosson, a former playwright who dedicated his attack on the English stage, The School of Abuse, to Sidney in 1579, but Sidney primarily addresses more general objections to poetry, such as those of Plato. In his essay, Sidney integrates a number of classical and Italian precepts on fiction. The essence of his defence is that poetry, by combining the liveliness of history with the ethical focus of philosophy, is more effective than either history or philosophy in rousing its readers to virtue. The work also offers important comments on Edmund Spenser and the Elizabethan stage. from wikipidea

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Philip Sidney : An Apology for Poetry

  1. 1. PRESENTED BY, SYAMILY C.S AN APOLOGY FOR POETRY
  2. 2. PHILIP SIDNEY(1554- 1585) Sidney’s ‘Apology for Poetry’ is considered the best work that opened the age of literary criticism in England It was written in 1585 and published after his death in 1595. It is said to be the first important critical text in the English literary criticism.
  3. 3. Sidney’s ‘Apology for Poetry’ deals with two ideas * Poetry is of divine origin * There is social utility for poetry The first section is all about praise of poetry *It is a cradle of civilization *It is a channel of divine power *Poetry can teach and delight *It can surpass the virtue of history and philosophy
  4. 4. Sidney’s arguments in defense of poetry It is a cradle of civilization • Poetry is the first light giver to ignorance that flourished before any other art or science • The earliest philosophers and historians who were poets. • The first law, Greek/Roman philosophers are written in verse
  5. 5. It is a channel of divine power • Poetry is divine and as well as prophetic •In the Holy Bible, for praising God and Solomon use verses • The new idea created by poet can withstand the test of time and according to Sidney in essence poetry is divine
  6. 6. POETRY CAN TEACH AND DELIGHT •The end of poetry is to teach and please , hence it is usable to society. • The imitations of poetry are able to delight and teach ; they provides perfect in disputable examples of good and bad. • Poetry inspires every individual to discard the vices of the villains and imitate the noble and virtuous action of heroes.
  7. 7. Poetry can surpass the virtues of history and philosophy •Poetry unites universal truth of philosophy with concrete examples of history. •Philosophy can only produce concrete universal truth through examples. They don’t have the power to implant themselves in our memory and judgment. • history is bound to recount a particular event just as it was , even if that event debases virtue and encourages vices. • poet is free to alter the particular event so as to a more universally expected story.
  8. 8. In second section Sidney refute four arguments leveled against poetry made by Stephen Gossan in his essay ‘T he School of Abuse’ Arguments against poetry • Poetry is unprofitable •Poetry is the mother of lie • poetry leads to sinful behavior • Plato kicked the poets out of his republic
  9. 9. Poetry is unprofitable , there are many better ways to spend our time • there is no other branches of learning more fruitful than poetry • poetry is the most fruitful of all knowledge and it has the power to teach and please and also moves its readers to virtuous action. • poetry is far better and effective than history and philosophy.
  10. 10. Poetry is the mother of lie • poetry does not affirm anything as truth • poets never lie , for they never claim their poem to be the truth • in poetry lies are not deliberately stated , therefore the poet can not be accused of lying
  11. 11. POETRY LEADS TO SINFUL BEHAVIOR •Poetry in itself is noble and that it cannot be the cause of any moral corruption • poetry aims at inspiring and elevating souls • it is the abuse of poetry , not poetry itself that leads to sin
  12. 12. PLATO KICKED THE POETS FROM HIS REPUBLIC •Sidney does not agree with the statement at all • Plato had banished ludicrous poets and not poetry itself • Plato himself drew much genuine knowledge from poetry and was highly poetical in his writings • Plato himself in his work ‘ion’, affirms that poets speak by divine inspiration
  13. 13. What Sidney maintains in his argument is that poetry has a universal appeal arising from the aesthetic appeal of its words and phrases. Sidney is against the degradation of poetry ; for poetry is instead “to delight and instruct” the readers. Sidney concludes by putting a curse on all poet haters may they never win love for want of a sonnet ; may they be forgotten for want of an epitaph.

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