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Word Count: 1,453
The sixteenth century was a time of great scientific historical religious and artistic upheaval Without the benefit of computers Television Radio or Nosy Neighbours much dissemination of social codes and conventions stories fables and legends came from ballads of sonnets Literacy ballads and the like were a basic format of song with an emphasis on action rather than character that told a story usually concerning some social phenomena such as romantic relationships cheating wives or husbands and sometimes work trades such as ploughmen Carpenters etc Traditionally most sonnets dealt with the theme of romantic love and in general referred to a mistress friend or a familial relation The two ballads discussed here show to highly contrasting themes of 16th Century rural life Romance and Love and Justice and social interaction The second focusing on how conflict between individuals might have been dealt with or resolved Astrophil and Stella One of the most famous and important artistic creations 16th Century English culture gave birth to was Sidneys sonnet sequence called Astrophil and Stella The sequence is about a man Astrophil who is attracted to and in pursuit of a married woman called Stella On stealing a first kiss from Stella whilst she is asleep Astrophil worries about her reaction if she should find him out but later on kicks himself for not taking advantage of the situation He then goes on to recount how he is filled with hopes one minute and despair the next whilst trying in vain to pursue her In constantly being refused he feels angered and offends her but does not wait too long before trying to seduce her yet again After a few more refusals he is moved to desperation evoking his misery in the last few sonnets Astrophils actions seem to be forgiven by some critics because he is driven by love In fact Sidneys depiction of the Astrophil is one that makes some critics
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