|Contexts and Comparisons||Chapter 5 - Renaissance Literature|
|William Shakespeare. (5.12)|
Among the poets influenced by Petrarch was Shakespeare, whose 154 sonnets often express deep anguish. Sonnet #130, however, has a different mood. In one sense the poem offers a useful catalogue of the conventions of Petrarchan love poetry, while in another, the text questions the value of those conventions.
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
- From the evidence provided in these fourteen lines, how did poets describe the women they loved and how does this sonnet comment upon those conventions?
- What does the final couplet mean? In what way may false comparisons detract from the worth of the subject they attempt to describe?
- What is the tone of this poem? Is the speaker angry, scornful, amused? Do you think he sincerely loves his mistress?
- Compare the rhyme scheme of this poem, an example of the English, or Shakespearean sonnet, with the rhyme scheme of the Italian, or Petrarchan sonnet. What difference between Italian and English word formations accounts for the difference in rhyme schemes?
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The Lover: Shakespeare