Apology for Poetry Essay

1900 Words 8 Pages
An “Apology for Poetry” is a compelling essay refuting the attack on poetry by Puritan and fundamentalist Stephen Gosson. This complex article written by Sir Phillip Sidney represents the decisive rebuttal defending poetry. His strong emotive passages defend the uncongenial comments of poetry from Gosson. Although, his justification for the rebuttal is alluded to Gosson’s durable attacks on poetry; it is known Gosson’s remarks prompt Sidney’s attitude to defend not only against Gosson but as well as Plato. Stephen Gosson’s Puritan credentials, disregards him as the primary source for submitting the essay.
Sidney addresses the poetic contributions and principles demonstrated by Aristotle, Plato, and other European scholars. Plato’s
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Sidney agrees with Plato’s doctrine that educational instruction is moral excellence and a capacity of universal knowledge which equips a mature virtuous man. To further the protection of poetry, he interprets Aristotle’s quote concerning the form of poetry as, “all virtues, vices and passions so in their own natural state laid out to the view that we seem not to hear of them but clearly to see through them (An Apology for Poetry 140). Nature provides its own natural resources for man to achieve universal knowledge; if man allows the aesthetics of nature to implement his mind, all virtues are achieved. Sidney acknowledges and makes frequent references of the essence to Plato’s “the beauty of virtue” (Samuel 387). Throughout the essay, Sidney validates Plato’s conception, “Like the painter who portrays not Lucretia, whom he never saw, but the outward beauty of such a virtue, the form of goodness—which seen, they cannot but love” (Samuel 387). Plato’s profound theory on aesthetics is a significant pathway to poetry, because poetry is beautiful and man cannot help but to love moral excellence.
Sidney upholds the truth and defense against the Socratic charges opposing poetry, “the poet, nothing affirmth, he therefore never lieth”. He delivers the expression that poetry is the truer ideal then other earthly being. “The defense of poetry as a mimetic art has already been made in the assertion that poetry

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