Download The Mistress-Knowledge: Sir Philip Sidney's Defence of by M. J. Doherty PDF

By M. J. Doherty

Publication via Doherty, M. J.

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Extra info for The Mistress-Knowledge: Sir Philip Sidney's Defence of Poesie and Literary Architectonics in the English Renaissance

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The fifth chapter examines renaissance arts treatises written both before and after the Defence, especially noting their use of a gender analogy of knowledge that finally opposes the feminine figure to an architectural construction of male character. This chapter also examines philosophical poems by John Davies and Fulke Greville, Sidney's biographer, in which Sidney's allegory of poesie was recapitulatedin the first case including the feminine figure and in the second case reducing or expunging it.

Since the three prosopopoeias of the Defence actually structure its argument as a story of thought, the third chapter looks at Sidney's invention of Page xxii prosopopoeias as an expression of a practical wisdom shared between author and reader. These images constitute the rhetorical intertextuality of the Defence since Sidney fashions his "voices" and "masks" out of his wide learning and practical knowledge. The fourth chapter primarily demonstrates the philological influence of Jean de Serres's Plato on Sidney's treatise.

But ah,' Desire still cries, 'give me some food'" (A & S 71). One problem for man is woman, and vice versa. Another is the mind and the degree to which learning itself is useless or even corrupted; and a third is action, the ethical and political decision-making one must bring to practice in the world. All pertain to religious faith or the lack of faith. " 1 In The Defence of Poesie, however, Sidney gave his audience a way of reasoning, believing, and thinking about heaven and earth. This way is named "the mistress-knowledge," the art not of poetry but of poesie: But when by the balance of experience it was found that the astronomer, looking to the stars, might fall in a ditch, that the inquiring philosopher might be blind in himself, and the mathematician might draw forth a straight line with a crooked heart, then lo, did proof, the overruler of opinions, make manifest that all these are but serving sciences, which as they have each a private end in themselves, so yet are they all directed to the hightest end of the mistress-knowledge, by the Greeks called arcitektonikh[rcitektonik], which stands (as I think) in the knowledge of a man's self, in the ethic and politic consideration, with the end of well-doing and not of well-knowing only.

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