Sir Philip Sidney Questions and Answers

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"My True Love Hath My Heart" by Sir Philip Sidney is a metaphor. Explain the poem and its significance.

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Sidney included this poem in his incredibly popular proto-novel, Arcadia. A shepherdess sings this to a beloved shepherd, and it is thus a beautiful pastoral interlude. The pastoral became a favored Elizabethan tradition.

With Edmund Spenser, Sidney was one of the two most important Elizabethan sonnet writers prior to Shakespeare. All three were notable for their sonnet cycles—a collection of loosely connected sonnets. While this poem occurs in Arcadia, it uses the sonnet conventions first associated with Shakespeare and later called the Shakespearean sonnet. Sidney and Spenser not only popularized the genre but adapted it somewhat to the English, as opposed to Italian, language and notably used iambic pentameter (ten-syllable lines). Because it can be harder to rhyme in English than in a Romance language, the rhyme scheme is more varied (abab cdcd efef gg). Similarly, the volta or turning point in the sonnet occurs at the couplet , rather than after line 8 in an Italian sonnet. As such,...

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