In this article we will discuss An Apology for Poetry by Philip Sidney Analysis, How does Sidney defend poetry in An 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 or charges raised against poetry in an apology for poetry? What are Sir Philip Sidney’s 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. Stephen Gossoon was the man who made these charges against the functionality of the poetry.
What were the charges made by Puritans?
What are the four objectives or charges raised against poetry in an apology for poetry? Actually, 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 reason. They made attacks on the poetry because of several reasons. What are the four objectives or charges raised against poetry in an apology for poetry? The charges made by them were;
• Poetry is a 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.
A common question usually asks how Sidney defends poetry in An Apology for Poetry. The answer is very simple and straight. He was never in favour of these charges nor ready to believe and accept them. He made a document to respond to all charges. Sidney defends poetry in An Apology for Poetry, moreover, he tried to advocate it based on 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’s analysis is concerned, and What is the function of poetry according to Sidney 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 poets are widely read and civilized men. They try to inculcate these qualities in the minds of 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 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 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
What is the function of poetry according to Sidney? To answer the second charge against poetry, Sidney adopts the role of an idealist and realist. Sir Philip Sidney’s views about poetry are that 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 ideas from their surroundings and the natural world. They take the idea and then try to idealize it through their poetic work. They never lie to create a special effect. He says that the heroic tales narrated by the poets are a source of knowledge of real 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 favour of the charges made by the Puritans against poetry.
Poetry is the source to gain morality
Puritans abused poetry for misguiding 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 a source of abuse. What is the function of poetry according to Sidney? He is of the view that the voice of poetry is about spreading peace and morality. Poetry narrates religious and worldly tales to create harmony in 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 of the warriors, bloodshed, and violence. History creates an outlook on the wars and bloodshed among common people. Poetry nourishes the mind of a 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
Sir Philip Sidney’s views about poetry are very much clear and vivid he 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 favour of the banishment of all the poets. He just wants to eradicate the abuse of poetry by 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 the poet tries to cover the ugly aspect of nature and turns them into fantastic and charming works. They inculcate a poetic style to depict 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 favour the idea of poetic justice by the poets. They present a solution to every cause. Poetry is in favour 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 to create a sense of poetic justice.
The different genre of poetry tries to cover a moral subject. Epic is the best source to record 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 an apology for poetry?, Sidney describes the three kinds of poets in an apology for poetry. What are four objectives raised against poetry in an apology for poetry he answers them all, What are Sir Philip Sidney’s views about poetry he represents in detail, What is the function of poetry according to Sidney he mentions and maintains the status of poetry.