The Comedy of Astrophil: Petrarchan Motifs in Sidney’s <i>Astrophil and Stella</i>

John Roe

in Petrarch in Britain

Published by British Academy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264133
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734649 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy 146

The Comedy of Astrophil: Petrarchan Motifs in Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella

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This chapter examines the presence of Petrarchan motifs in Sir Philip Sydney's English sonnet Astrophil and Stella. It argues that despite Sidney's reputation as an anti-Petrarchan, much of his Astrophil and Stella was positively influenced by Petrarch. It explains that Sidney expanded Petrarchan antitheses beyond anything that can be found in the Canzoniere and in some poems he offered a witty critique of the Platonic interpretations of Petrarch commentators such as Giovanni Andrea Gesualdo.

Keywords: Sir Philip Sydney; English sonnet; Astrophil and Stella; Petrarch; Petrarchan antitheses; Canzoniere; Giovanni Andrea Gesualdo

Chapter.  5110 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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