Sir Philip Sidney Influence On Poetry

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Ancient philosophers always have had a great influence on writers, especially the ones who emerged in Renaissance period. They had respect on them that’s why they pattern themselves on these men: “Men of the Renaissance had a profound reverence for the ancient poets, philosophers, orators, statesmen, and heroes as a superior race, and this was a dynamic faith, not a genteel tradition.”(Bush 1952, 29) Sir Philip Sidney was one of them. He was greatly influenced by Aristotle, Plato and Horace, who dominated the Greek and Roman world. Aristotle assumed that mimesis (imitation) is the copy of nature. He thought that human inclined to imitate. He describes mimesis as: Inherent in man from his earliest days; he differs from other animals in that he is the most imitative of all creatures, and he learns his earliest lessons by imitation. Also inborn in all of us is the instinct to enjoy works of imitation. (1898, 1998) Aristotle saw no harm to imitate since he thought with imitation; poets can fill the deficiency in nature. It can be clearly seen that Sidney adopt this notion of Aristotle and it shaped his perspective in art: Poesy . . . is an art of imitation, for so Aristotle termeth it in the word mimesis—that is to say, a representing, counterfeiting, or figuring forth—to speak metaphorically, a speaking picture—with this end to teach and delight. (1595, 958) Just like Aristotle, Sidney cared about ethics and claimed that a poet should also have morality: “But it is that

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