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Petrarchan Sonnets
Petrarchan Sonnets
Petrarchan Sonnets
Petrarchan Sonnets
Petrarchan Sonnets
Petrarchan Sonnets
Petrarchan Sonnets
Petrarchan Sonnets
Petrarchan Sonnets
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Petrarchan Sonnets


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  • 1. Petrarchan Sonnets
  • 2. Sir Philip Sidney
    Scholar, poet, soldier
    Upper-class connects but modest
    Attended Oxford and Cambridge
    Composed the 1st great sonnet sequence in English: Astrophel and Stella
  • 3. Astrophel and Stella
    Sonnet sequence
    Astrophel’s love for Stella
    Inspired by Penelope Devereux (Stella) and Sir Philip Sidney (Astrophel)
    Devereux & Sidney engaged, broken off, Penelope marries another
  • 4. Petrarchan Sonnet: Format
    Iambic pentameter
    10 syllables per line: 5 stressed, 5 unstressed
    Divided into 2 sections by 2 different groups of rhyming sounds: octave and sestet
    Volta: a change from one rhyme group to another, signifies a change in subject matter. Usually the main point/essential part of a sonnet.
    In a Petrarchan sonnet, this occurs between the octave and the sestet.
  • 5. Petrarchan Sonnet: Format
    First 8 lines = octave
    Octave rhyme scheme:a b b a a b b a
    Remaining 6 lines =sestet
    Can have either 2 or 3 rhyming sounds, arranged in a variety of ways:
    c d c d c d
    c d d c d c
    c d e c d e
    c d e c e d
    c d c e d c
    c d c d e e
  • 6. Sonnet 31- Sidney
    p. 243
  • 7. What are we looking for?
    Rhyme scheme?
    Addressed to what/whom?
    Discussing what/whom?
    Feelings toward his love?
  • 8. With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies! How silently, and with how wan a face ! What, may it be that even in heavenly place That busy archer his sharp arrows tries? Sure, if that long with love-acquainted eyes Can judge of love, thou feel'st a lover's case; I read it in thy looks;  thy languished grace To me that feel the like, thy state descries. Then, even of fellowship, O Moon, tell me, Is constant love deemed there but want of wit? Are beauties there as proud as here they be? Do they above love to be loved, and yet       Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?       Do they call virtue there, ungratefulness?
  • 9. What are we looking for?
    Rhyme scheme? abbaabbacdcdee
    Addressed to what/whom? The moon
    Discussing what/whom? Frustrations with relationship, lovesickness for a woman
    Metaphor? Sees his own lovesickness mirrored in the pale moon
    Feelings toward his love? Lovesick, sad, unattainable