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The Unrepentant RenaissanceFrom Petrarch to Shakespeare to Milton$
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Richard Strier

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226777511

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226777535.001.0001

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Against Judgment: Petrarch and Shakespeare at Sonnets

Against Judgment: Petrarch and Shakespeare at Sonnets

Chapter 2 (p.59) Against Judgment: Petrarch and Shakespeare at Sonnets
The Unrepentant Renaissance

Richard Strier

University of Chicago Press

This chapter further discusses Petrarch and Shakespeare, two figures that can be regarded as promoters of the praise of passion. Though Shakespeare is often associated as “anti-Petrarchan,” Petrarch sonnets and other poems in the Canzoniere show a deep continuity with Shakespeare’s—in the sense that there is the embrace of dualism and disembodiment rather than the resistance of it. As such, the author places Petrarch as the model for all Renaissance sonneteers. The author cites certain instances wherein Shakespeare proves to be Petrarchan, such as in sonnet 106 where there is the celebration of the beauty of the beloved as appropriate to the powers of the poets and prophets of the past. In fact, it is revealed that even some sonnets of Shakespeare’s that are widely considered “anti-Petrarchan” turn out to be deeply Petrarchan instead.

Keywords:   passion, Petrarch, Shakespeare, Canzoniere, dualism, Petrarch sonnets

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