Study Guide

With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies! Women and Femininity

By Sir Philip Sidney

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Women and Femininity

Then, even of fellowship, O Moon, tell me,
Is constant love deemed there but want of wit? (9-10)

Apparently Stella thinks Astrophel's "constant love" is a joke, a lack of "wit." Hmm, in a world (the English Renaissance) where "wit" was a really big deal, this is a pretty big blow to Astrophel's ego. He seems to think women are good at wrecking those.

Are beauties there as proud as here they be? (11)

This here is an implied generalization about women on Earth: they are all "proud," and not in a good way. Guys that say this kind of stuff are usually having a bad day, and they're usually wrong.

Do they above love to be loved, and yet
Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess? (12-13)

We get the same implied generalization here as in line 12. Astrophel now thinks girls just love attention. Some do, but maybe the problem is he's giving her so much attention he's being annoying. That might be why she's scorning him. Duh.

Do they call virtue there, ungratefulness? (14)

We've got "there" in this line, "there" in lines 10 and 11, and "above" in line 12. Astrophel is wondering if females are the same in every world and universe. He could also be asking this question and implying that women on Earth are no good and the ones in the heavens aren't as cruel. But that might be a long shot.

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