An apology for poetry by Philip Sidney Analysis

In this article we will discuss about An apology for poetry by Philip Sidney Analysis, How does Sidney defend poetry in apology for poetry?, What does Sidney say about poetry?, How does Sidney describe the three kinds of poets in an apology for poetry?, What are the four objectives raised against poetry in an apology for poetry?, What is the Sir Philip Sidney views about poetry?, What is the function of poetry according to Sidney?

An apology for poetry by Philip Sidney Analysis

In analysis An apology for poetry by Philip Sidney he has reacted and answered the charges made by Puritans against poetry as an art. He tries to advocate and secures the position and status of the poetry over periods of time. Stephen Gossoon was the man who made these charges against the functionality of the poetry.

What were the charges made by Puritans?

Puritans criticized poetry on many grounds because of its functionality and work. They regarded it as a source of bewilderment and nourishment of the minds against the intellect and the reason. They made attacks on the poetry because of several reasons. The charges made by them were;

•             Poetry is the waste of time.

•             Poetry is the mother of lies.

•             Poetry is the nurse of abuse.

•             Plato has rightly banished the poets from his ideal world.

He was never in the favor of these charges nor ready to believe and accept them. He made a document in order to respond to all charges. He tried to advocate it on the basis of his wide knowledge and experience in the field of poetry. He was of the view that poetry is the right way to educate brute and uncivilized minds. He reacted against all these charges with logical reasoning and intellect.

Poetry is the source of knowledge

As far as An apology for poetry by Philip Sidney analysis is concerned, he answers the charges by making suitable arguments. He thinks that poetry can provide knowledge about all branches of the world. He is of the view that the poets are widely read and civilized men. They try to inculcate these qualities in the minds of the man through the use of poetical writings. They try to provide a moral lesson with heroic and ideal tales. The heroic tales and the narrative incidents of the battlefields can encourage the man to fight against evil. This hero can spread virtue through heroic tales. They act in a specific way so that ordinary readers get inspired by their heroic actions. As poetry is considered as the imitation of art and action. So these ordinary people try to imitate these heroic actions and became the embodiment of virtue, poetry teaches the law of morality and wisdom in a particular way. It makes the man capable of thinking and acting in a reasonable direction. It guides the minds of the man to ponder well on the concerned idea. He considers poetry as the process of learning and educating about virtuous deeds. It can never be regarded as a waste of time because it moves the mind to learn and practice virtue.

The poetic truths idealize the minds

To answer the second charge against poetry, Sidney adopts the role of an idealist and realist. He considers poetry as the source of realistic thoughts and ideas. He is of the view that poets always write about the natural and imaginative world. They take the ideas from his surrounding and natural world. They take the idea and then try to idealize it through their poetic work. They never lie in order to create a special effect. He says that the heroic tales narrated by the poets are a source of knowledge of the real past history. Poetry can never be a pack of lies. It is about the existence of idealism and universal truths. So he affirms that there are no specific ground realities in favor of the charges made by the Puritans against poetry.

Poetry is the source to gain morality

Puritans abused poetry for misguiding the human minds. They consider it a source of bewilderment. They believed that poetry cannot nourish their intellect and logical reasoning. For that purpose, they consider it as a source of abuse. He is of the view that the voice of the poetry is about spreading peace and morality. Poetry narrates the religious and worldly tales in order to create harmony among the society; it tries to reinforce the laws of morality and brotherhood. He says that is the duty of history and philosophy to narrate abuses. There is a lot of description about the warriors, bloodshed, and violence. History creates an outlook about the wars and bloodshed among common people. Poetry nourishes the mind of the man about harmony and civilization. It civilizes the mind with true heroic stories. It helps to enlighten the mind of the man to capture the ground realities.

Sidney disagrees with the banishment of poets

Sidney condemned Plato for his views about the banishment of poets. He identifies the poetic version in his dialogues. So he concludes that he was not in favor of the banishment of all the poets. He just wants to eradicate the abuse of poetry by the inferior poets. He considers them inferior because they were not able to guide and instruct in a particular way. He says that to him poetry is the imitation of human nature. He tries to support his ideas with different logic. He says that poet tries to cover the ugly aspect of nature and turns them into fantastic and charming works. They inculcate a poetic style in order to depict the human aspects in a refined manner. He considers nature as the fundamental raw material for the execution of the poetic process. He is of the view that imitation of nature provides a natural order to teach and delight human minds. It brings peace and harmony to the order of society. Human virtue is taught by imitating several good deeds .we are forced to act in a particular way by witnessing the human virtue embodied in the form of poetic work. There we can favor the idea of poetic justice by the poets. They present a solution to every cause. Poetry is in the favor of an appreciation of good deeds and there is a reward system for virtuous deeds. The evil persons are banished and punished for their bad deeds in order to create a sense of poetic justice.                                    

The different genre of the poetry tries to cover a moral subject. Epic is the best source to record the heroic and virtual deeds. The readers get inspired by these heroic actions.  He answers well all the arguments and charges and stands as a victor among these people. He defends the poetry on all grounds.   

In short, An apology for poetry by Philip Sidney represents the analysis, Sidney does defend poetry in apology for poetry?, Sidney describes the three kinds of poets in an apology for poetry?, What are the four objectives raised against poetry in an apology for poetry he answers them all, What is the Sir Philip Sidney views about poetry he represents in details, What is the function of poetry according to Sidney he mentions and he maintains the status of poetry.

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