Petrarch and Petrarchan love conventions dominate early modern love poetry, though not necessarily because everyone was simply following in the footsteps of the great man. Rather, a lot (like Shakespeare) were consciously reacting against the old fashioned nature of the Petrarchan style to try and forge a more “modern” vision of poetry.

This video explains some of the basic elements of Petrarchan verse and gives you a way to address them in your readings of literature by Spenser, Sidney, and other early modern English poets.


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