Essay On Petrarchan Sonnet

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Lackluster love is the subject postulated in both sonnets, Petrarch 90 and Shakespeare 130. This is a love that endures even after beauteous love has worn off, or in Petrarch, a love that never was. The Petrarchan sonnet utilizes fantasy to describe love. It depicts love that is exaggerated and unrealistic. Shakespeare’s sonnet, on the other hand, is very sarcastic but it is more realistic as compared to the Petrarch 90. Petrarchan sonnets, also called Italian sonnets were the first sonnets to be written, and they have remained the most common sonnets (Hollander 28). They were named after the Italian poet Petrarch. Its structure takes the form of two stanzas, the first one an octave, in that, it has eight lines, and the next stanza is a sestet, meaning that it has six lines. The rhyme scheme suits the Italian language, which has the feature of being rhyme rich, and it, can take the forms of abbaabba, cdcdcd, or cdecde. These sonnets present an answerable charge in the first stanza, and a turn in the sestet. The sestet is the counter argument of the octave.
Shakespeare sonnets, also called English sonnets, are the second most common sonnets. It takes the structure of three quatrains, that is, three stanzas with four lines and a couplet that is a two line stanza. The couplet stanza is pivotal in the sonnet, because it provides amplification, a refutation or a conclusion of the other three stanzas, which creates an epiphany for the sonnet. The other kind of sonnet is the Spenserian, which has the first 12 lines rhyming into a, b, c and d, while the last stanza, which is a couplet has the rhyme, ee. The three quatrains provide detail about three but related ideas while the couplet gives rise to a totally different idea (Petrarca & ...

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...all & Maynard 1676). He is harsh to his love, who he calls a mistress. However, at the end of the sonnet, he is admires and accepts her, ‘and yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare as any she belied with false compare’ (Lawall & Maynard 1676). Petrarch sonnet if more complex, it is fond and even slightly defiant, ‘you say she is not so today? Well, though the bow’s unbent, the wound bleeds on’ (Lawall & Maynard 1676). He accepts that she is not what she used to be but he still loves her.
Both sonnets are designed to solve a paradox. Shakespeare develops a paradox in the quatrain stanzas, which he resolves in the couplet. He paints the picture of an unlovable woman who he calls his mistress, but in the couplet, he accepts her as she is, and even describes her as a rare gem (Shakespeare 38). On the other hand, the Petrarch’s paradox is in the resolution.
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