Renaissance Love Poetry – Reading for Lyricism

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Lyrical poetry of the Renaissance followed certain established modes of style and construct. Poetry concerning love, for instance, was most often composed as either a song or a sonnet (fourteen lines of rhyming verse.) Milton was later to scorn what he considered the constraining effects of rhyme, but to many poets of the time, this structure represented ideal order. Another feature of Renaissance poetry is the blazon. This is the comparison of different body parts of women to elements in nature. Feminist literary critics would later criticize this categorization of the female body as the ultimate objectification of women. Ironically, the Renaissance was also an era of successive female rulers, culminating in Queen Elizabeth, who brought a long reign of stability to England with her power and influence.

Read the sonnets of Sidney, Spencer, Shakespeare, and Campion from this week’s reading list. Find one example of the blazon as used by one poet. Identify one common theme or preoccupation in all the poems, making reference to the poetry in your answer. What does this preoccupation indicate about the status of women in the Elizabethan era? Consider the love songs / lyrics from contemporary society. Are the preoccupations the same or different?

Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7.

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Perfectsolutions
School: UT Austin

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