Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia, also known simply as The Arcadia is by far Sir Philip Sidney's most ambitious work. It was as significant in its own way as his sonnets. The work is a pastoral romance that combines pastoral elements with a mood derived from the Hellenistic model of Heliodorus. In the work, that is, a highly idealized version of the shepherd's life adjoins (not always naturally) with stories of jousts, political treachery, kidnappings, battles, and rapes. As published in the sixteenth century, the narrative follows the Greek model: stories are nested within each other, and different story-lines are intertwined.

It established Arcadia as an icon



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