Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Sidney vs. Chaucer
The contrast of viewpoints and opinions in today's readings was interesting. In Sidney's view, poetry is the supreme way for human beings to explore and understand themselves and the world. In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales the real world is parodied and made fun of and human beings are criticized for their vices and idiocy. His characters, like the Miller, are good at something but not inherently good. Chaucer uses them to represent the shallowness and hypocrisy of society. Human beings in Canterbury Tales cannot achieve higher understanding of themselves. God is on a higher level than humanity and humans cannot reach him. Sidney's work seems to emphasize the connection between poetry and divine knowledge. In his opinion, poetry should celebrate and inspire the values that are in line with God's word. Sidney was a well-respected individual in his society and therefore if he said to read and write poetry in order to better oneself and it would probably be passed along and encouraged. Whereas Chaucer encourages against the reading and writing of poetry as a false and fake expression of self and emotion. It is interesting to look at two such different views of humanity and society. Chaucer's satirical view is more negative and points out bad things a contrast from Sidney's positive view of the beauty of poetry. This contrast presents a question of how to view the world and how to view humanity.