Sir Philip Sidney
Sir Philip Sidney was the son of a well-connected noble family. His place of birth was Penshurst in Kent. He began school in 1564 at Shrewsbury. He later shifted to Christ Church, Oxford in 1568. As a youth, he was showing signs of brilliance. He left Oxford without graduating and went on to complete his education while touring for three years through France, Germany, Poland, Italy, and Austria. This happened between 1572 and 1575. Upon return to England, he entered aristocracy life. In 1577, he embarked to Germany on a diplomatic mission. During this mission, he unsuccessfully attempted reconciling the protestant fractions that were quarreling and organizing resistance against Catholic nations.
Sidney did not limit his interests on court and diplomacy. He enjoyed the contacts of literary men such as Thomas Drant, Edmund Spenser, Fulke Greville, and Edward Dyer. In an attempt to create new English poetry, he wrote experimental poems that were not rhyming. Some of the works supposedly written during this time include the “Lady of May” which was performed in 1578 in honor of the queen. He also wrote the “Astrophel and Stella” as well as the Arcadia during this period. After the publication of “School of Abuse” by Stephen Gosson in 1579, Sidney wrote his “Apology for Poetry” (Cannon 1).
Sidney did not find his court situation satisfactory. He had not attained a remunerative and steady p…
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