There has always been a conflict between two schools of thought in literature, that is, those who believe in art for the sake of art and those who believe in art for the sake of instruction. According to the Aristotle's doctrine of poetry, the essence of poetry is imitation and entertainment simultaneously, which is also mentioned by Sidney in the third sonnet of Astrophel and Stella;
The picture poet represent is not about is present, but what "ought to be." Thus the doctrine of art for the sake of instruction is more commonly accepted by the writers and critics, however it is coupled with delight.
Sidney being a true follower of Aristotle follows this concept enthusiastically which can be clearly observed through out the series of poems in Astrophel and Stella. In the very first sonnet of Astrophel and Stella he mentions,
In the fifth sonnet readers can observe that he is successful in conveying the concept of delight and instruction at once and fulfills the theory of poetry. In the ending lines of the sonnet he mention,
The reader can observe that there is a moral lesson to be learnt from him. According to him that the world is like an inn and our life a pilgrimage, which Thomas Campion also mentioned in his "The Man Of Life Upright",
If we look at these lines from instructions point of view it is clear that the Sidney is mentioning the conflict between love and reason. However, in the end we get the delicate idea that the reason is the ultimate measure to love Stella.
Without any doubt, the Astrophel and Stella ...