Comparison: Petrarchan And Shakespearean Sonnets Essay

1434 words - 6 pages

Through the form of sonnet, Shakespeare and Petrarch both address the subject of love, yet there are key contrasts in their style, structure, and in the manner, each approaches their subjects. Moreover, in "Sonnet 130," Shakespeare, in fact, parodies Petrarch's style and thoughts as his storyteller describes his mistress, whose "eyes are in no way as the sun" (Shakespeare 1918). Through his English poem, Shakespeare seems to mock the exaggerated descriptions expanded throughout Petrarch’s work by portraying the speaker’s love in terms that are characteristic of a flawed woman not a goddess. On the other hand, upon a review of "Sonnet 292" from the Canzoniere, through “Introduction to Literature and Arts,” one quickly perceives that Petrarch's work is full of symbolism. However, Petrarch’s utilization of resemblance and the romanticizing of Petrarch's female subject are normal for the Petrarchan style.
The leading major contrast between the two poems is revealed in the difference in structure for their pieces. Petrarch's "Sonnet 292" is composed in the Italian 14-line poem structure comprising an eight-line octave. It also contains six-line sestet. The fundamental characteristics for the Petrarchan poem structure is the two-part structure. To attain this, the author divides the eight-line octave into two four-line stanzas and the sestet into two three-line stanzas. This structure takes into account improvement of two parts of the subject, expanding the point of view of the piece. While some rhyme plot remains after the interpretation of the lyrics from Italian, it does not provide a correct representation of the definitive complexity of Petrarch's work and message found in the original Italian form of the sonnet (McLaughlin). The Shakespearean poem comprises a three-quatrain opinion, followed by a 2-line, determination couplet. The type of the English piece takes into account the improvement of three points of view on the subject through the opinion, followed by the determination, which offers a certification of the former quatrains. While the appearance of these two works might differ, they both successfully portray the tragic circumstances of their situations through their lyrics (Steele 133).
The tragic circumstances found in the two sonnets are extraordinarily distinctive. In Petrarch's octave, he outlines all the delightful qualities the object of his affection owns. The main quatrain is devoted to her feet, eyes, hands and face, all of which elevate the narrator's presence from that of common life. The posting of her characteristics draws attention and in this manner returns to the custom of cultured love. Petrarch's narrator moves forward by describing his love’s angelic grin, which, together with her golden, waving hair, changes the world to Paradise. He presses on to the finish of the octave, through his bittersweet declaration, which reduces this incredible experience of love to a sorrowful memory that is beyond the senses. The woman,...

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