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Shakespearean and Petrarchan Sonnet.

Analysis of the structures and the main characteristics of the most common models of sonnet: Petrarchan and Shakespearean. Analysis of the poem "I find no peace" by Wyatt and comparison with "Pace non trovo" by Francesco Petrarch.
by

Andrea Lupi

on 5 May 2014

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Transcript of Shakespearean and Petrarchan Sonnet.

Shakespearean and Petrarchan Sonnet through the ages
The Origins of the Sonnet

The Petrarchan Sonnet
The Petrarchan Sonnet is organized in 14 lines of iambic pentameter divided into an octave and a sestet with the following rhyme scheme: ABBA ABBA and CDECDE or CDCDCD.

The development of themes:
The octave presents an argument that causes a doubt and a conflict in the poet.
At the 8th and 9th line 'the volta' occurs introduced by words such as 'but', 'yet', 'then' or an exclamation.
Then the sestet give the reason and the conclusion for what was presented in the octave.
Emphasis of the idea of the poem through the octave and the sestet.
An example of Petrarchan Sonnet: The Lively Sparks by Thomas Wyatt
The Shakespearean Sonnet
The Shakespearean or English Sonnet is structured in 14 lines of iambic pentameter divided into 3 quatrains followed by a couplet with this rhyme scheme: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.
New rhyme scheme introduced because of the less number of rhyming words in English than Italian.

The development of the themes:
The quatrains present different parallel images, tied together by the final couplet with the solution
The first quatrain present an idea, that become more complicate with the other quatrains, as a climax
The volta is usually presented at the end of the 8th and at the 9th line, introduced by the same conjunctions of Petrarchan sonnet (and, if, so, but, yet..)
The couplet clarifies and solves the idea or the situation

The development of the sonnet in England

Scorn not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned,
Mindless of its just honours
-'Scorn not the Sonnet' by William Wordsworth
The sonnet, which means "little song" is a precise lyric form that was invented in Italy by Iacopo Da Lentini in 1235 DC and then experimented by other poets
In England during the Renaissance, writing verses in spare time became a good mental exercise and in Elizabethan Age poetry flourished as an important art.
Thanks to two courtier-poets, Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, the sonnet was introduced in England.
During the reign of Henry VIII the sonnet became popular: before poet used to translate Petrarch's sonnets but then they started to compose their own.

Analysis of the structures and the main characteristics of the most common models of sonnet: Petrarchan and Shakespearean.
Analysis of the poem “I find no peace” by Thomas Wyatt and
comparison with “Pace non trovo” by Francesco Petrarch

The lively sparks that issue from those eyes,
Against the which there vaileth no defence,
Have pierc’d my heart, and done it none offence,
With quaking pleasure more than once or twice.
Was never man could any thing devise,
Sunbeams to turn with so great vehemence
To daze man’s sight, as by their bright presence
Dazed am I; much like unto the guise
Of one stricken with dint of lightning,
Blind with the stroke, and crying here and there;
So call I for help, I not when nor where,
The pain of my fall patiently bearing:
For straight after the blaze, as is no wonder,
Of deadly noise hear I the fearful thunder.
Octave
Sestet
The introduction of the problem
The development of the problem
The change or volta
The solution of the problem
An example of Shakespearean Sonnet: When my love swears by Shakespeare
When my love swears that she is made of truth,
I do believe her, though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutored youth,
Unlearned in the world’s false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue:
On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed.
But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
Oh, love’s best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love loves not to have years told.
Therefore I lie with her and she with me,
And in our faults by lies we flattered be.

Quatrain
Quatrain
Quatrain
Couplet
The introduction of the idea
The complication of the idea

One more complication
of the idea
The resolution of the problem
In conclusion, what are the main differences between Petrarchan and Shakespearean sonnet?
The rhyme scheme
The division of the sections
The development of themes:
emphasis and stress of the idea in Petrarchan sonnet
&
complication and deepening of the idea through
parallel images in Shakespearean Sonnet
Analysis of the sonnet "I find no peace" by Thomas Wyatt
I find no peace, and all my war is done.
I fear and hope, I burn and freeze like ice.
I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise;
And naught I have, and all the world I seize on.
That looseth nor locketh holdeth me in prison
And holdeth me not—yet can I scape nowise—
Nor letteth me live nor die at my devise,
And yet of death it giveth none occasion.
Without eye I see, and without tongue I plain.
I desire to perish, and yet I ask health.
I love another, and thus I hate myself.
I feed me in sorrow and laugh in all my pain;
Likewise displeaseth me both death and life,
And my delight is causer of this strife.
A Petrarchan Sonnet based on an octave and a sestet of iambic pentameter
Repetition of the words: I, and, nor/not, me to focus on the personality of the poet (I; me) and on his contrast feelings (and; nor/not)
Onomatopoeia to express the sense of coldheartedness and detachment
Allitteration of the sound
"th" that reminds the word "death" and assonance
of the sound "o", that evokes a sense of closure in contrast with the sounds "a" and "i" that recall a sense of opening
Internal rhymes
All the lines are end-stopped, so the end of the line coincides with a grammatical pause. This feature tend to slow down the rhythm in the poem.
I find no peace, and all my war is done.
I fear and hope, I burn and freeze like ice.
I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise;
And naught I have, and all the world I seize on.
That looseth nor locketh holdeth me in prison
And holdeth me not—yet can I scape nowise-
Nor letteth me live nor die at my devise,
And yet of death it giveth none occasion.
Without eye I see, and without tongue I plain.
I desire to perish, and yet I ask health.
I love another, and thus I hate myself.
I feed me in sorrow and laugh in all my pain;
Likewise displeaseth me both death and life,
And my delight is causer of this strife.
Analysis of the sonnet "I find no peace" by Thomas Wyatt
The sonnet present a large range of poetic imagery, in particular images and expressions based on contrast
All these are symbols: they represent the strife, the struggle that is considered the main theme of the poem
A simile to express better the concept of coldheartedness
Oxymora that
put two internal feelings in contrast
of the poet caused by the strife
Adynata that
create an impossible
situation, the one
of the poet between
life and death
Metaphors, used to
have a stronger
emotional impact
on the reader
than simile
Comparison with "Pace non trovo" by Petrarch
I find no peace is considered an "antithetical" sonnet for the numerous antithesis and oxymora

It is a Petrarchan sonnet that reflects all the main feature of the Petrarchan tradition that enumerate the conflicting states of mind caused by the love

The poem "I find no peace" could be considered a translation of the poem "Pace non trovo" by Petrarch
What are the main causes of the success of the sonnet?

The taste and the Italian fashion
The unique poetic persona of Petrarch
The distinctive devices of Italian Poetry
The figure of the Petrarchan lover, who reminds the provençal courtly love.
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