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By John Coakley, Jared Silva and Conner Lonergan

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1 By John Coakley, Jared Silva and Conner Lonergan
Sonnet XXXI,Sidney By John Coakley, Jared Silva and Conner Lonergan

2 Sir Philip Sidney Sir Philip Sidney was an English poet and solider born in 1554. He was most famous for his sonnets, and “The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia” Sidney is well known as one of the most influential writers of the Elizabethan age.

3 Background Information
Sonnet 31 is part of Sidney’s series of sonnets, called “Astrophil and Stella.” There are a total of 108 sonnets in his set. The poem is believed to have been written sometime in the 1580s.

4 Historical Context The sonnets were written sometime in the 1580s
Elizabethan Era Astrophil and Stella is considered the pivotal turning point in the history of English literature, and that it changed the course of Renaissance literature in England. Sidney was the first to introduce the Italian sonnet form to England.

5 Sonnet XXXI With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies! How silently, and with how wan a face! What, may it be that even in heavenly place That busy archer his sharp arrows tries? Sure, if that long with love-acquainted eyes Can judge of love, thou feel'st a lover's case; I read it in thy looks; thy languisht grace To me that feel the like, thy state descries. Then, even of fellowship, O Moon, tell me, Is constant love deemed there but want of wit? Are beauties there as proud as here they be? Do they above love to be loved, and yet Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess? Do they call virtue there, ungratefulness?

6 Analysis The narrator (Sidney) is expressing love for a person, although they do not feel the same way. He then questions the Gods as to whether or not they feel the same pain that humans do. The poet is angry at the way he is being treated by the woman because although he shows her that he loves her, she shows him disrespect in return rather than love.

7 Theme The main theme of the poem is unrequited love.
The author feels indignant because he is not loved in return by the woman, and although she expects unconditional love, she is not ready to love in return.

8 Structure The poem is a 14 line sonnet.
Contrary to most sonnets of the time period, Sidney writes in the Italian form rather than the Elizabethan/Shakespearean form. Most sonnets that are in the Italian form are written about unattainable love, and Sonnet XXXI is a perfect example. Rhyme scheme: A B B A A B B A C D C D C D Italian sonnets are split into two sections: The Octave (First 8 lines) and the Sestet (Final 6 lines) adding to the standard total of 14 lines.

9 Literary Devices Metaphor: The poem is a metaphor for unattainable love. Alliteration: “Want of wit?” (Line 10) Assonance: “Above love to be loved” (Line 12) Symbolism: The “busy archer” is symbolic of Cupid, and the moon is symbolic of a God or Goddess.

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