The Sonnets

Choose one prompt to answer in complete sentences. Cite from a poem or poems directly. Cite the poet’s last name and lines, as follows: (Petrarch, lines).

Are Shakespeare’s Sonnets 130 and 116 utilizing more Humanist concepts, such as Platonism and Neo-Platonism through the semblance of courtly love, or do they mostly promote Individualism through his lyrics as he declares that “If this be error and upon me prov’d, I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d”? Do you think Shakespeare is writing to a lover, or to only a friend? Justify your answer. How do these different philosophies impact the notion of the Renaissance’s establishment of a “rebirth” of the culture based on your interpretation?

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Define the notion of the Neo-Platonic notion of the immutable nature of love and time in Petrarch’s sonnets. Also, define the notion of Petrarchan idealism through his love for Laura and compare and contrast his tone in developing the love sonnet with that of Shakespeare’s. Which poet’s style best adheres to the classical aspects of Renaissance philosophy from your perspective and why?

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