The Defence of Poesy

Class and Society in The Defense of Poesy College

Class and Society in The Defense of Poesy Sir Philip Sidney’s The Defense of Poesy, written in 1579 and published in 1575 (Norton Anthology Volume B) is a literary composition that preserved the eloquence and sophistication of poetry, allowing poetry to continue to be a flourishing and influential form of writing. However, Sidney’s work also further upheld the supremacy of poetry, and how this form of literary work was considered to be only for the most high class and elite persons of society. The Defense of Poesy affirms the social hierarchy that determines cultural class systems by continuously enforcing features of poetry. These features that Sidney writes include themes of power, strength and intelligence, which all confirm an underlying tone of Sidney’s work that poetry is meant for the elite nobility and high class socialites. Without saying so directly, Sidney implicates through The Defense of Poesy that poetry is a sophisticated and complicated form of art that should be consumed and enjoyed by those who are educated enough to understand it and appreciate it. There is no room nor bandwidth in Sidney’s defense of poetry for the common reader, much less the illiterate and uneducated, to partake in form of writing that...

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