Question 1: What does Astrophil even mean? I really cannot stop seeing it as Astro Phil, like some 80s sci-fi astronaut cowboy. Turns out, Astrophil literally translates from Latin as “star lover.” And Stella means “star.” Astrophil loves Stella. But I think there’s more to it than that. In Sidney’s time, space travel was completely out of the question, meaning that even though the star-lover pines after the stars, he can never have them. I think it’s a subtle foreshadowing of future events, because she doesn’t really respond to his affections. I’ve read that the collection of sonnets are based on Sidney’s experiences in loving a married woman who never really felt the same way, so I think it’s both bittersweet and a little upsetting on Sidney’s part in pursuing someone that doesn’t love him back.
Question 2: Why does Astrophil commit to writing about Stella, but later admits that he doesn’t think she loves him back? I think I read more than I was supposed to, but I was invested in the story. Astrophil was so in love with Stella and I was shattered to realized his love was one sided. I guess this is more of a question as to why he can’t really take the hint that Stella is just not interested in him. I believe that this is Sidney’s way of presenting the issue from the side of the offender. I really can’t see the poem as a defending position, but then again Sidney wrote hundreds of parts to this poem. Maybe there’s more to it? I really didn’t get this one. Poetry has always been hard for me. I think the idea of a perspective from someone’s point of view when the other isn’t interested is in them is an interesting way to show the mental gymnastics some people go through. The way that Sidney writes is really fantastic and evokes the feeling of love, even though Stella doesn’t actually, you know, care.