Petrarch and Shakespeare - Did Petrarch Influence Shakespeare?
There is little definite information in Petrarch's work concerning Laura, except that . secular achievements did not necessarily preclude an authentic relationship and a DNA test revealed that the skull was not Petrarch's, prompting calls. The Petrarch: Sonnets Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter author biography and quizzes written by community members like you. The theme of the entire book is love for Laura, high, clean, impetuous, but Petrarch and de la Vega's All-Encompassing Passion · Dis[man]tling the Blazon: The Relationship of . Petrarchan Poems: “Laura”. “The White Doe”. “Spring”. “To Helene”. “Roses” Vocabulary development- Review vocab quiz and notes from The Odyssey (a few gods at the beginning of the story, but by the end the relationships are restored.
Francesca married Francescuolo da Brossano who was later named executor of Petrarch's will that same year. Inshortly after the birth of a daughter, Eletta the same name as Petrarch's motherthey joined Petrarch in Venice to flee the plague then ravaging parts of Europe. A second grandchild, Francesco, was born inbut died before his second birthday. Francesca and her family lived with Petrarch in Venice for five years from to at Palazzo Molina ; although Petrarch continued to travel in those years.
Between and the younger Boccaccio paid the older Petrarch two visits. The first was in Venice, the second was in Padua.
The house hosts now a permanent exhibition of Petrarchian works and curiosities; among others you find the famous tomb of Petrarch's beloved cat who was embalmed. On the marble slab there is a Latin inscription written by Antonio Quarenghi: Etruscus gemino vates ardebat amore: Maximus ignis ego; Laura secundus erat.
Arcebam sacro vivens a limine mures, Ne domini exitio scripta diserta forent; Incutio trepidis eadem defuncta pavorem, Et viget exanimi in corpore prisca fides. This arrangement was probably cancelled when he moved to Padua, the enemy of Venice, in The library was seized by the lords of Paduaand his books and manuscripts are now widely scattered over Europe.
The Triumph of Death, or The 3 Fates. Flemish tapestry probably Brussels, ca. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The three Fates, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, who spin, draw out and cut the thread of life, represent Death in this tapestry, as they triumph over the fallen body of Chastity.
This is the third subject in Petrarch's poem "The Great Triumphs". However, Petrarch was an enthusiastic Latin scholar and did most of his writing in this language.
His Latin writings include scholarly works, introspective essays, letters, and more poetry. He translated seven psalms, a collection known as the Penitential Psalms. Cicero, Virgil, and Seneca were his literary models. Most of his Latin writings are difficult to find today, but several of his works are available in English translations.
Petrarch collected his letters into two major sets of books called Epistolae familiares " Letters on Familiar Matters " and Seniles " Letters of Old Age "both of which are available in English translation.
These were published "without names" to protect the recipients, all of whom had close relationships to Petrarch. His "Letter to Posterity" the last letter in Seniles  gives an autobiography and a synopsis of his philosophy in life. It was originally written in Latin and was completed in or - the first such autobiography in a thousand years since Saint Augustine. This is Non al suo amante by Jacopo da Bolognawritten around Laura and poetry On April 6, , after Petrarch gave up his vocation as a priest, the sight of a woman called "Laura" in the church of Sainte-Claire d' Avignon awoke in him a lasting passion, celebrated in the Rime sparse "Scattered rhymes".
There is little definite information in Petrarch's work concerning Laura, except that she is lovely to look at, fair-haired, with a modest, dignified bearing. Laura and Petrarch had little or no personal contact. According to his "Secretum", she refused him because she was already married.
He channeled his feelings into love poems that were exclamatory rather than persuasive, and wrote prose that showed his contempt for men who pursue women.
Petrarch - Francesco Petrarch Childhood, Life and Timeline
Upon her death inthe poet found that his grief was as difficult to live with as was his former despair. Later in his "Letter to Posterity", Petrarch wrote: I certainly wish I could say that I have always been entirely free from desires of the flesh, but I would be lying if I did". Laura de Noves While it is possible she was an idealized or pseudonymous character — particularly since the name "Laura" has a linguistic connection to the poetic "laurels" Petrarch coveted — Petrarch himself always denied it.
His frequent use of l'aura is also remarkable: There is psychological realism in the description of Laura, although Petrarch draws heavily on conventionalised descriptions of love and lovers from troubadour songs and other literature of courtly love.
Her presence causes him unspeakable joy, but his unrequited love creates unendurable desires, inner conflicts between the ardent lover and the mystic Christianmaking it impossible to reconcile the two. Francesco De Sanctis remarks much the same thing in his Storia della letteratura italiana, and contemporary critics agree on the powerful music of his verse.
Perhaps the poet was inspired by a famous singer he met in Veneto around the s. Laura is too holy to be painted; she is an awe-inspiring goddess. Sensuality and passion are suggested rather by the rhythm and music that shape the vague contours of the lady. In addition, some today consider Laura to be a representation of an "ideal Renaissance woman", based on her nature and definitive characteristics. Sonnet Original Italian English translation by A. Breeze, blowing that blonde curling hair, stirring it, and being softly stirred in turn, scattering that sweet gold about, then gathering it, in a lovely knot of curls again, you linger around bright eyes whose loving sting pierces me so, till I feel it and weep, and I wander searching for my treasure, like a creature that often shies and kicks: Happy air, remain here with your living rays: Petrarch is a world apart from Dante and his Divina Commedia.
In spite of the metaphysical subject, the Commedia is deeply rooted in the cultural and social milieu of turn-of-the-century Florence: Dante's rise to power and exilehis political passions call for a "violent" use of language, where he uses all the registers, from low and trivial to sublime and philosophical.
Petrarch confessed to Boccaccio that he had never read the Commedia, remarks Contini, wondering whether this was true or Petrarch wanted to distance himself from Dante. Dante's language evolves as he grows old, from the courtly love of his early stilnovistic Rime and Vita nuova to the Convivio and Divina Commedia, where Beatrice is sanctified as the goddess of philosophy — the philosophy announced by the Donna Gentile at the death of Beatrice.
Here, poetry alone provides a consolation for personal grief, much less philosophy or politics as in Dantefor Petrarch fights within himself sensuality versus mysticismprofane versus Christian literaturenot against anything outside of himself. The strong moral and political convictions which had inspired Dante belong to the Middle Ages and the libertarian spirit of the commune ; Petrarch's moral dilemmas, his refusal to take a stand in politics, his reclusive life point to a different direction, or time.
The free commune, the place that had made Dante an eminent politician and scholar, was being dismantled: Humanism and its spirit of empirical inquiry, however, were making progress — but the papacy especially after Avignon and the empire Henry VIIthe last hope of the white Guelphsdied near Siena in had lost much of their original prestige.
The imperfect rhymes of u with closed o and i with closed e inherited from Guittone's mistaken rendering of Sicilian verse are excluded, but the rhyme of open and closed o is kept. Finally, Petrarch's enjambment creates longer semantic units by connecting one line to the following.
The vast majority of Petrarch's poems collected in the Canzoniere dedicated to Laura were sonnets, and the Petrarchan sonnet still bears his name.
Petrarch argued instead that God had given humans their vast intellectual and creative potential to be used to their fullest.
He believed in the immense moral and practical value of the study of ancient history and literature — that is, the study of human thought and action.
Before answering this question we think it useful to mention that only just at that time did the sonnet begin to emancipate itself from the tendency to sing the praises of woman as a perfect being according to the poet's ideal, and from the tendency to joining to his earthly love some vague ideas of spiritual love.
It is therefore easy to see that the sonnet was limited to a particular subject, and if to that we add that the spirit of the chivalry of the Middle Ages was decaying, we can easily guess that the language to use in this kind of composition could only be cold, mechanical and conventional. Consider the great difference which exists between the enthusiasm of Petrarch for Laura and that of Fletcher for Licia and also perhaps that of Surrey for the Fair Geraldine and the truthfulness of our statement will be at once admitted.
As every artist is, to a certain extent, the product of his own time, so Shakespeare could not escape this universal law, therefore his critics are divided into two parties. Thomas Tyler, Courthope and many others say that his sonnets are sincere; several others, among whom we find Lee, do not agree with this opinion.Petrarchan Love: A Comparison...
Karl Elze and E. Stengel say that perhaps Shakespeare wrote his sonnets to exercise his fancy and to amuse his friends, which leads us to the opinion that his sentiment was fictitious.
But, to express our modest opinion, we think that as Dante and Petrarch could not have written so well if their feelings had not been genuine, so Shakespeare could not have presented mankind with his beautiful sonnets had he not really felt what he wrote, and we really think that his passion was born of the heart and not of the head.
But by whom were these sonnets inspired? To whom were they addressed? They were first published in and dedicated to a person whose name began with the initials W. Critics have now changed their opinion and they are inclined to think they were addressed to a male friend, and this is not improbable when we consider the Platonism of the time.
But then, why did not Shakespeare write the name in full? The fact of using initials only might cause even the least carping mind to think of a woman rather than of a man. However that may be, the fact remains that the woman of Shakespeare's sonnets is not like Laura, nor is she like any lady of the Petrarchists.
She is not a perfect beauty, or a beauty womanly perfect, but she has the power of fascinating the poet almost in spite of himself. It may be that Shakespeare never sympathized with any Laura, and, as he wrote his sonnets at different periods of his life, perhaps they were, as we have already suggested, inspired by several persons, both male and female, although they were dedicated only to one.
If Shakespeare had no Laura, or, at least, if he did not know how to love his lady and sing of her after the manner of the Petrarchists, he also did not know the somewhat complex system of rhyme adopted by Petrarch in his sonnets and by nearly all the best English sonneteers. Only rarely does a single sonnet form an independent poem, and, as in the sonnets of of Sidney, Spenser and Drayton, the same thought is pursued continuously through two or more.
It is needless to say that Shakespeare's lyrics do not form his principal glory, but they outshine all those of other authors. It has been said that the sonnet writers of the Shakespearean age have left little really memorable work, nevertheless that little, in our opinion, cannot be neglected by a conscientious student of English literature.
How to cite this article: Petrarch and his influence on English literature.