RENAISSANCE POETRY AND SONNET
The renaissance period influnced english poetry and especially the sonnets that were called Shakespearean or Elizabethan sonnets. The sonnet spread to England in 1500. Shakespeare took up sonnets when the playhouse was closed for the plague. The great innovation was to change the metrical structure of the sonnet of Petrarca (two quatrains and two triplets), used as a model by Shakespeare. The English poet change the metrical structure in three quatrains and one couplet. These sonnet deals about a women such as Petrarch's sonnet. The different was that in Petrarch's sonnet the women was seen only as an angel and She had a high value while in Shakespeare’s sonnet She was both ideal and real. This women remembered Elizabeth I, called Virgin Queen. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets at all between 1593/1599 addressed to young Earl of Southampton, his friend and patron. Shakespeare’s sonnets didn't deal about perfect women but they relate to three different figures, the fair youth, the dark lady and the rival poet, whose identity were unknown. Shakespeare’s women was a flash/and/blood women full of flaws and unfaithful. She, with the rival poet, has a minor role respect to the fair youth that sometimes has a very close relationship with Shakespeare. In fact he is presented with ambiguous words that leave puzzling about the possible relationship between them. Probably the fair youth was the Earl of Southampton.
MY MISTRESS’ EYES ARE NOTHING LIKE THE SUN :
In this sonnet Shakespeare gives us a representation of the women he loves. He proceeds for negations of stereotypes of the women presented by Petrarch. Shakespeare’s women doesn't embody the perfection instead She is full of defects. In fact her eyes are not like sun and her lips are not red like coral. In the first three quatrains Shakespeare focuses on a single theme but It is in the final couplet that He explains the meaning of the sonnet. Even if his women is full on defects notwithstanding his love isn't much less important then Petrarch's love.
THE TEMPEST :
The tempest is a romance. Shakespeare wrote romances in the last phase of his life. He was older and He had overcame the pessimism of his tragedy. There is an atmosphere full of spells and magic. The main character of romance, the magician Prospero, raised a tempest and the ship was shipwrecked. Prospero caused the shipwrecked because He wanted to take his revenge on the Duke of Milan. The magician left the city because of a plot organized by the duke of Milan, helped by the group of Naples. Prospero with his three-year-old daughter Miranda got away from Milan with help of Gonzalo and He arrived on an island surrounded by spirits. Prospero, thanks to his magic, became the leader of island, He maltreated and submitted the spirits like a conqueror. He chose two helpers, Ariel, the air spirit and Caliban, a monster half-man and half-beast. The last one was probably in love with Miranda.