Summary of Philip Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella, Sonnet 27

Astrophil and Stella, Sonnet 27 (Because I oft, in dark abstracted guise) is written by Sir Philip Sidney.


In this sonnet, Sidney explains how, even in the court, he remains lost in the thoughts of Stella, and the courtiers ignore him. He finds himself alone even when he is in the Queen’s court with a large company. The lords make speeches on various subjects, and when he is not able to answer them, they consider him proud and his reputation as a courtier suffers; they attribute his silence to pride, and that I love myself, and despise others. This foul rumour flies in the court like poison.

Sidney asserts that he is not at all proud or haughty—the fact which is much too obvious, yet he has one worse fault or defect, i. e., he is ambitious, he confesses. This fact itself makes many friends ignore him. He feels that because of his intense love, he has been ignoring the claims of his friends. Though he is among friends, but because his thoughts are fixed on Stella, his friends remain unseen, their conversation remains unheard, while his thoughts mount to the highest place; all these faculties and powers are bent upon one object; to seek Stella’s favour. Thus reason gives way to passion.

Here all his thoughts are being directed by Stella who has some mesmeric power impelling the poet’s thoughts to focus on her only and ignore all other company. The poet regrets his conduct in the court but he attributes all his failures as a courtier to the influence of Stella.

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