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The sonnet




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The sonnet

The renaissance is the golden Age of the literature because of the development of the poetry with the songs and the sonnets. The sonnet was a literary genre originated in Italy where was improved by Dante and above all by Petrarch. The main themes of the sonnets are: the love sought, the love satisfied and love for a woman who couldn’t love the poet. The woman was perfect both physically and morally. In this poetries there were a strong contrast between the desire of the woman and the unhappier caused by this unhappy love. These lyrics were characterized by a lot of paradoxes: the woman, beautiful but cruel, made the man suffering but the man didn’t want to stop suffering. The love toward the woman is sometimes associated with the love towards God; for this reason love is always pure and idealised.



As the metrical form, the sonnet is composed of fourteen verses. Petrarch divided them into an octave and into a sestet. The lines usually rhymed according the schemes ABBA ABBA CDC DCD or CDE CDE. In the octave the presentation of an argument or o a problem, in the sestet there was the resolution of the problem and the personal consideration.

English sonnet was later identified with the Shakespearian form: three quatrains and a final couplet rhyming ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. In the quatrains there was the presentation of three different themes and the final couplet is the conclusion. In this period there was the diffusion of the concept, a kind of poetry which gave depth and variety to an opinion. It could be understood only by cultivated people. In the beginning of the 17th century, the sonnet began to decade but it was still used by Johnson, Donne and Milton who professed the Patrarchan form. This form was used also by the Romantics and the 20th century poets.




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