Please explain the following four lines from the first sonnet of Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophel And Stella?"Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show, That the dear She might take some...

Please explain the following four lines from the first sonnet of Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophel And Stella?

"Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,

That the dear She might take some pleasure of my pain,

Pleasure might cause her read,  reading might make her know,

Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain."

 

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The opening lines of Sir Philip Sidney's sonnet sequence "Astrophel and Stella" are written in iambic hexameter and exemplify the rhetorical device of gradatio. The narrator of the poem, Astrophel, or "star lover" is in love with Stella (star) and though he is truly in love with her desires (fains, pun on feigns) to write poems stating his love. He is unhappy in love, wishes that Stella will in reading his poetry derive "pleasure of my pain", and that the "pleasure might cause her read", which would make her aware of his love, pity him and favour his suit.

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