The Defence of Poesy

The Puritan movement and its Relation to “A Defense of Poesy” College

In the long essay, “A Defense of Poesy,” Sir Philip Sidney responds to the attempts of repression by the Puritan Movement on poets and their work by characterizing poetry as the roots of culture and intelligence. Sidney uses mythical allusions and historical references to various cultures in order to create an all-encompassing argument promoting the continued development of poetry in society, as well as defending its current and past existence. Sidney’s work is considered to be one of the most critical and influential literary criticisms of its time.

The Puritan Movement lasted between the 16th and 17th centuries and was characterized by the desire to purify the church from the Catholic clergy’s corruption. At this time in history, the church was a largely influential part of government, and much of this corruption stemmed from the intertwining of the two. In addition, the Catholic Church had begun to sell items known as Indulgences, which were purchased relics sold by the Church in order to forgive one’s sins, or even forgive future sins at a higher cost. The invented rituals of the Church, which were not found in the Bible, outraged many people who believed in the raw interpretation of the Bible, especially with the literacy...

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