The Unrequited Love of Petrarch

Topics: Love, Petrarchan sonnet, Petrarch Pages: 3 (1069 words) Published: February 16, 2011
Falling in love at first sight, Francesco Petrarch, an Italian poet finds himself haunted by the breathtaking beauty of Laura. Laura, already happily married, refuses to reciprocate Petrarch’s undying love. Petrarch, filled with feelings of despair and rejection, uses Laura as his inspiration to write his emotions and thoughts in the form of Petrarchan sonnets. In “I’d Sing of Love in Such a Novel Fashion” and “Alone, and Lost in Thought, the Desert Glade” Petrarch uses symbolism to show that the human’s ability to change their mind over time, does not make one hypocritical. Humans easily change their opinions because the things they experience as time progresses may give them a different point of view on life.

In “I’d Sing of Love in Such a Novel Fashion” Petrarch wants to find fame through his rejection from Laura. To Petrarch, Laura defines beauty. Petrarch uses symbolism to show the audience Laura’s true beauty when he writes, “And I'd see scarlet roses in the snows” (l. 9). The scarlet roses symbolize Laura; the fact that the roses can still be seen underneath the cold, wet snow symbolizes Laura’s unique beauty and ability to stand out among other women. In a world full of so many women, Petrarch chooses Laura to obsess over and write his sonnets about. In lines ten and eleven: “tossed by the breeze, discover ivory/ that turns to marble those who see it near them,” Petrarch refers to Laura once again. Petrarch says that those lucky people who have the opportunity to see Laura’s exquisite beauty, turn from ivory to marble. When Petrarch first wrote this sonnet, marble had a greater value than ivory; therefore seeing Laura can be considered a great thing. Although Petrarch recognizes Laura as beautiful, he also informs his audience of the suffering she causes, when he writes, “I'd sing of Love in such a novel fashion /that from her cruel side I would draw by force /a thousand sighs a day, kindling again /in her cold mind a thousand high desires” (l. 1- 4)....
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