What would be the restrictions Sidney himself was under at the time in regards to writing? would these sonnets be an art of self expression because he himself is frustrated with society st that time?
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Historically, Sidney's poem reflects his own love for and loss of a woman. Sidney was intended to marry Penelope Devereux, who the character of Stella is based upon. Unfortuately, Penelope (Stella) was forced to marry someone else. Society of the time dictated arranged marriages rather than love matches. The girl wouldn't have had a choice, and Sidney, of course, would have been devastated.
Sidney also lived under the influence and desire to follow his religious beliefs...... desire was to be contained and restrained....... sexual relations took place in the marriage bed. Sidney would not have flouted his religious beliefs, thus, his poem spoke to the desire he could not act upon.
ASTROPHIL AND STELLA