16th Century British Literature
When readers hear the word sonnet, they usually think of Shakespeare; however, he is not the first sonneteer, nor the last, of course. The sonnet got its beginnings centuries ago and has endured. One might ask why it has endured over such a lengthy period of time, and the answer is a simple one: EVOLUTION. Just as humans have had to evolve over time, the sonnet has had to do so as well. The two main forms of the sonnet are the Italian sonnet (also referred to as the Petrarchan sonnet) and the English sonnet (also referred to as the Shakespearean sonnet). In an attempt to show the evolutionary road the sonnet has traveled, these two sonnet forms will be thoroughly examined.
Credited for the creation of the sonnet is Giacomo da Lentini. Also know as Jacopo, Lentini created the sonnet sometime in the thirteenth century and are the earliest known. “He adapted the themes, style, and language of Provencal poetry to Italian, infusing it with his own aristocratic and exclusive tastes (Giacomo).” All known poetry credited to Giacomo concerns various ideals of love, not necessarily in the same sense that love is seen today, rather, it is seen in terms such as “the service of the lover to his lady (Giacomo).”
Although Giacomo is the inventor, Petrarch is the sonneteer that is remembered and talked about concerning the art. Petrarch came along some years later to popularize the sonnet with his love sonnets about Laura and his unrequited love for her. He is thought to have met her in church, although “met” might be a little presumptuous. Petrarch was fixated on her, and created some of the most beautiful poetry, that we, otherwise, would never have seen. For a woman he would never know, for a woman he could never have, he should change the world forever; for that’s precisely what Petrarch did when he gave us the perfected sonnet. He provided the start to what would become... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2009, 12). Sonnet Evolution. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 12, 2009, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Sonnet-Evolution-261086.html
"Sonnet Evolution" StudyMode.com. 12 2009. 12 2009 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Sonnet-Evolution-261086.html>.
"Sonnet Evolution." StudyMode.com. 12, 2009. Accessed 12, 2009. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Sonnet-Evolution-261086.html.