Sir Philip Sidney’s Philosophy of Love and Beauty in Astrophil and Stella

Leila Hajjari, Hossein Aliakbari Harehdasht, Maryam Shaabani


Love is a common theme in the Renaissance poetry dominating the writings of nearly all great writers of the time. Sir Philip Sidney is one of the most celebrated writers of this period who is able to create love poems at their highest level. His sonnet cycle, Astrophil and Stella, shows the spectrum of love in its many different shades and colours in the relation between Astrophil (the star lover) and Stella (the star). Although the question of love and its various meanings is more or less self-evident in Sir Philip Sidney’s poetry; nonetheless, the unquestionable connection between love and beauty remains to be an interesting subject and can be reexamined in his sonnet cycle in order to reveal the minute details of Astrophil’s love of beauty, physical as well as spiritual. This reading, therefore, attempts to show how Sidney, as one of the pioneers of Petrarchan love poetry, understands the philosophically rich concept of Platonic love and of beauty as a medium for and ideal form of love. 


Sir Philip Sidney; Astrophil and Stella; Love; Beauty; Platonic

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