When looking into the examination of poetry through the eyes of Sir Philip Sidney, one key argument made centers on the potentiality that poetry has for the ability to make the unknown known and the familiar unfamiliar through the power of language. Sidney feels as though poetry is the king of all sciences in a sense, due to the ability of poetry to call upon the imagination for the power to tell stories that yield the potential for education, pleasure, and ethical reform. It is through poetry that the concealment and the usage of language enables the poet to hide or reveal whatever it is he wishes to address or devalue. Therefore, poetry retains a potential to become the “mother of all lies” insofar as poetry acts as a device that misguides man or is misused by man into committing malicious acts through the medium. Sidney combats this idea with the idea that it remains the fault of the perception and understanding of the man, therefore it is man who uses poetry incorrectly to depict an idea through the medium. In this regard, poetry, and to another degree literature as a whole, wields this ability to cause change not only in man via poetry, but also in poetry via man as a result of man’s ability to craft poetry to his imagination. Therefore, the power of language not only comes forth through the unlimited potential that man has as a result of his imagination giving birth to poetry, but also through the potential that poetry has for the imagination of man.
The Miller’s Tale acts as good example of the power of the imagination of man in the sense that in The Miller’s Tale, the potentiality of poetry enables a poet to craft a world of mischief and mayhem in such a way that serious, almost life threatening actions such as cheating, kissing bare bottoms, and building a boat for an upcoming flood. In this sense, The Miller’s tale has the potential to be seen by different audiences in unique ways, enabling for a new interpretation based on the studying of the work as an individual spends more time with it. Despite the ability to be seen in different styles by different audiences, the power of the imagination comes forth in the poem’s ability to be unlocked by man.