So falleth it out that, having indeed no right comedy in that comical part of our tragedy, we have nothing but scurrility, unworthy of any chaste ears, or some extreme show of doltishness, indeed fit to lift up a loud laughter, and nothing else; where the whole tract of a comedy should be full of delight, as the tragedy should be still maintained in a well-raised admiration. One such Renaissance writer, Stephen Gosson, in the School of Abuse, charged corruption for reasons that were probably personal in that he failed as a dramatist himself. While in the mean time two armies fly in, represented with four swords and bucklers, and then what hard heart will not receive it for a pitched field? For there being two principal parts, matter to be expressed by words, and words to express the matter, in neither we use art or imitation rightly. But lay aside the just praise it hath by being the only 2s fit speech for music — music. And therefore, as in history looking for truth, they may go away full-fraught 25 with falsehood, so in poesy looking but for fiction, they shall use the narration but as an imaginative ground-plot of a profitable invention.
While in the mean time two armies fly in, represented with four swords and bucklers, and then what hard heart will not receive it for a pitched field? Let it suffice that it is a fit soil for praise to dwell upon; and what dispraise may set upon it, is either easily overcome, or transformed into just commendation. And therefore, as I said in the beginning, even Turks and Tartars are delighted with poets. A poet through fables, parables and the use of skillful metaphors can bring religion closer to interpretation which is why at the base level, religions are susceptible to allegory. Is it then the pastoral poem which is misliked? Yet had he great wants, fit to be forgiven in so revered antiquity. Note that he uses ideas from both Plato who had ironically argued against poetry and Aristotle to make his case.
And therefore though Cato misliked his unmustered person, he misliked not his work. But if anything be already said in the defense of sweet poetry, all concurreth to the maintaining the heroical, which is not only a kind, but the best and most accomplished kind of poetry. But I list not to defend poesy with the help of his underling historiography. But these neither artificial rules nor imitative patterns, we much cumber ourselves withal. So that verse being in itself sweet and orderly, and being best for memory, the only handle of knowledge, it must be in jest that any man can speak against it.
Now wherein we want desert were a thank-worthy labor to express; but if I knew, I should have mended myself. David 6 5, 9 19, 25 28, 35, 36 12, 38 4, 44 25. Alexander 19 23, 27 7, 39 34, 40 4, 43 18, 51 11. The most notable be the heroic, lyric, tragic, comic, satiric, iambic, elegiac, pastoral, and certain others, some of these being termed according to the matter they deal with, some by the sort of verse they liked best to write in,—for indeed the greatest part of poets have apparelled their poetical inventions in that numberous kind of writing which is called verse. See whether wisdom and temperance in Ulysses and Diomedes, valor in Achilles, friendship in Nisus and Euryalus, even to an ignorant man carry not an apparent shining. But let those things alone, and go to manfor whom as the other things are, so it seemeth in him her uttermost cunning is employedand know whether she have brought forth so true a lover as Theagenes; so constant a friend as Pylades; so valiant a man as Orlando; so right a prince as Xenophons Cyrus; so excellent a man every way as Virgils Æneas? Poets remained caught in this uneasy relationship between court and religious critics until Samuel Johnson's era C18 and the rise of a self-sustaining market relationship among poets, printers, booksellers, and the reading public.
Who are the classics or the ancients with whom the author based his arguments from? Summary: Sidney clearly had been contemplating the problem of the poet's role in society for a long time, perhaps since his earliest education in which he would have encountered It long has been argued that he may have been responding to Gosson dedicated the pamphlet to Sidney without asking permission, and some poets at the time suspected Sidney would reply in some fashion. But let this be a sufficient, though short note, that we miss the right use of the material point of poesy. Where now would one of our tragedy writers begin, but with the delivery of the child? Upon the back of that comes out a hideous monster with fire and smoke, and then the miserable beholders are bound to take it for a cave. Therefore, perchance forgetting some, and leaving some as needless to be remembered, it shall not be amiss in a word to cite the special kinds, to see what faults may be found in the right use of them. For, as I take it, to lie is to affirm that to be true which is false; so as the other artists, and especially the historian, affirming many things, can, in the cloudy knowledge of mankind, hardly escape from many lies. What would he have to defend first if he were a woman writing this essay, before he even could address the defense of poets? These be they that, as i the first and most noble sort may justly be termed vates, so these are waited on in the exeellentest lan- guages and best understandings with the foredescribed name of poets.
Indeed, many scholars regard his eloquent defense of the attacks made against poetry by both Plato and Gosson to be the first real example of literary criticism. The chief, both in antiquity and excellency, were they that did imitate the inconceivable excellencies of God. Only the poet, disdaining to be tied to any such subjection, lifted up with the vigor of his own invention, doth grow, in effect, into another nature, in making things either better than nature bringeth forth, or, quite anew, forms such as never were in nature, as the heroes, demi-gods, cyclops, chimeras, furies, and such like; so as he goeth hand in hand with nature, not enclosed within the narrow warrant of her gifts, but freely ranging within the zodiac of his own wit. Poets therefore take part in the divine act of creation. He beginneth not with obscure definitions, which must blur the margent with interpretations, and load the memory with doubtfulness. But the historian, being captived to the truth of a foolish world, is many times a terror from well-doing, and an encouragement to unbridled wickedness. And that the poet hath that idea is manifest, by delivering them forth in such excellency as he had imagined them.
Apology contains only elements of Neoplatonism without adhering to the full doctrine. Truly the English, before any other vulgar language I know, is fit for both sorts. Which I speak to show that it is not riming and versing that maketh a poet—no more than a long gown maketh an advocate, who, though he pleaded in armor, should be an advocate and no soldier—but it is that feigning notable images of virtues, vices, or what else, with that delightful teaching, which must be the right describing note to know a poet by. The French, of the other side, has both the male, as bon: son, and the female, as plaise: taise; but the sdrucciola he has not. For proof whereof, let but most of the verses be put in prose, and then ask the meaning, and it will be found that one verse did but beget another, without ordering at the first what should be at the last; which becomes a confused mass of words, with a tinkling sound of rime, barely accompanied with reason.
So that truly neither philosopher nor historiographer could at the first have entered into the gates of popular judgments, if they had not taken a great passport of poetry, which in all nations at this day, where learning flourisheth not, is plain to be seen; in all which they have some feeling of poetry. Neither let this be jestingly conceived, because the works of the one be essential, the other in imitation or fiction; for any understanding knoweth the skill of each artificer standeth in that idea, or fore-conceit of the work, and not in the work itself. Exercise indeed we do, but that very fore-backwardly, for where we should exercise to know, we exercise as having known; and so is our brain delivered of much matter which never was begotten by knowledge. Another will say it wanteth grammar. And mark but even Cæsars own words of the forenamed Syllawho in that only did honestly, to put down his dishonest tyranny literas nescivit: as if want of learning caused him to do well. Even with the finding of the body, leaving the rest to be told by the spirit of Polydorus.