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The Sonnet

The Renaissance is considered the ‘golden age’ of poetry because of the flourishing of love songs and sonnets. The sonnet was introduced into England by Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503–42) and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517–47), from Italy, where it had been experimented with and refined by Dante(1265–1321) and Petrarch (1304–74), whose Canzoniere (1342–74) had become the model for all European Renaissance poets. Wyatt and Surrey imitated Petrarch in response to the taste for Italian fashions that was popular in Henry’s court in the 16 the century. The fascination with Petrarch’s poetry came from his unique poetic persona and the distinctive devices, such as the oxymoron, which he used to express a very complex emotional experience. Petrarch an imitation also allowed Wyatt to construct a socially convenient persona in the Tudor court: that of the Petrarchan lover. Ritual flirtation, in accordance with the codes of courtly love, was fashionable and was conducted through the exchange of poems that circulated round the court as manuscripts. After a period of evolution, the English sonnet came to be identified with the Shakespearean model.

The Italian Sonnet is composed by 14 lines of iambic pentameter. It's divided into 2 sections:the octave who presents a problem or a situation; the sextet who solves or clarifies the situation. Rhyme scheme of the Italian Sonnet is: abbaabba for the octave and cdecde or cdcdcd for the sextet. The Italian Sonnet's turning point is situated at the end of the eighth line and the ninth(sometimes introduced by words like:and, if, so, but,then, when).The language of the sonnet is full of oxymora and the themes are: love and faith,beauty.

The English Sonnet is composed by 14 lines of iambic pentameter also. It's divided into 4 sections:3 quatrains that present a problem or situation and a couplet that solves or summaries the problem. Rhyme scheme is compsed by: Quatrain I: abab Quatrain II: cdcd Quatrain II: efef Couplet: gg. The English Sonnet's turning point is at the end of the eighth line and the ninth(sometimes introduced by words like: and, if, so, but, then, when).The language of the sonnet is full of oxymora and the themes are: love and faith, beauty and art too.

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