2013-01-03 04:04:14 UTC
is in its title:
SIR P. S. HIS ASTROPHEL AND STELLA.
Wherein the excellence of sweete *Poesie is concluded*.
- Astrophel and Stella: anagram of plethoras and astell, to establish
(astell) with morbid passions (plethoras).
- conclude: to include; to demonstrate, prove (OED).
- Poesie is concluded: poetry is included and concluded in this book.
Passions (Astrophel=plethoras) and Establishment (Stella=astell) are
personified and projected to Philip and Mary Sidney. It's not an incest
but another form of The Defence of Poesie. Passionate lines can be
transferred from lover to poetry. Its 108 sonnets show Sidney's faith
in poetry like Penelope in Odysseus.
This explains why Stella's husband is called a rich fool with foul abuse
in sonnet 24, and a devil and monster in sonnet 78. It borrows Mary's
husband Henry Herbert to reflect the style of poetry Sidney disdained.
To treat Stella as Penelope Rich means Philip would curse Robert Rich
openly. It's also odd for a man to riddle and praise his lover by using
her husband's name (sonnet 37).
In _Astrophel_, an elegy included in Colin Clouts Come Home Again (1595),
Stella would die with Astrophel. Some think Edmund Spenser was careless
for unlikely Penelope Rich would do that, but it's logical if the author
knew Stella being Mary Sidney.
Spenser's Gloriana, also spelt Gloriane, praises Anne Boleyn by playing
Glory-Anne with Belphoebe. The two names can spell "Glory Anne Boleyn."
(Spenser hinted the combination of names in a letter to Walter Raleigh.)
To praise the mother artfully worked fine. The Queen paid Spenser well.
Spenser achieved something Philip Sidney had failed.
Philip Sidney's failure is in sonnet 93. His letter to the Queen angered
her and harmed Stella (his ideal poetry and sister). He cared too much
the Queen's marriage with no manner and confused his wit with care:
From carelessness did in no manner grow;
But wit, confus'd with too much care, did miss. (sonnet 93)
Astrophel to Astrophil
This change from -el to -il fails a perfect anagram. Sidney played names
with care: "As for my name it shall be Cleophila, turning Philoclea to
myself, as my mind is wholly turned and transformed into her." This guide
in the old Arcadia was removed, but more name plays were added after:
- Philisides and Mira may spell and refer to Philip Sidney and Mary.
(Philisides didn't win Mira just like Astrophel and Stella.)
- Pyrocles and Daiphantus (=daut phansy) to Philip Sidney.
daut: to pet, fondle, caress, make much of (OED 1500...1853).
- Musidorus and Zelmane (=zeel man) to Mary Sidney, with a man's zeal
or with the zeal to be a man. Mary's wish is fulfilled in her Arcadia.
- Pyrocles (P__s) and Musidorus (M__s), the two protagonists reflect
Philip Sidney (P. S.) and Mary Sidney (M. S.).
Mucedorus (=decorum us) and Amadine (=a maiden) to spell Mary Sidney
plays for "Mary Sidney's maiden decorum for us poets." This author of
_Mucedorus_ tried to please Pembroke by adapting Sidney's name play.