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Philomela Analysis



Author: Poetry of Sir Philip Sidney Type: Poetry Views: 538

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The nightingale, as soon as April bringeth

Unto her rested sense a perfect waking,

While late bare earth, proud of new clothing, springeth,

Sings out her woes, a thorn her song-book making,

And, mournfully bewailing,

Her throat in tunes expresseth

What grief her breast oppresseth,

For Tereus' force on her chaste will prevailing.O Philomela fair, O take some gladness,

That here is juster cause of plaintful sadness:

Thine earth now springs, mine fadeth;

Thy thorn without, my thorn my heart invadeth.Alas, she hath no other cause of anguish

But Tereus' love, on her by strong hand wroken,

Wherein she suffering, all her spirits languish,

Full womanlike complains her will was broken.

But I, who, daily craving,

Cannot have to content me,

Have more cause to lament me,

Since wanting is more woe than too much having.O Philomela fair, O take some gladness,

That here is juster cause of plaintful sadness:

Thine earth now springs, mine fadeth;

Thy thorn without, my thorn my heart invadeth.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: Myth of Philomela :.

In this poem, the speaker is using the art of rhetoric. This is an example of a courtly-love poem, where the speaker (Sidney) is in love with a woman, whom he can never have. In this poem, Sidney evaluates himself by alluding to classical myth (Philomela). In doing so, he is able to compare his situation to that of hers. Although she was raped and had her tongue cut out, the speaker says, "That here is juster cause of plaintful sadness", meaning that he has a better reason to be sad than she does: "since wanting is more woe than too much having". He is basically saying that it is worse to want somebody and not get them, than to have too much of somebody that you did not want. In short, he is trying to convince the reader that his situation is worse than that of somebody who has been raped and ill-fated to eternal silence (her tongue was cut off)

| Posted on 2006-02-08 | by Approved Guest




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