Elizabethan Love Conventions

Elizabethan Love Conventions

Elizabethan Love Conventions

Elizabethan Love Conventions

Excerpt

A study of Elizabethan Love Conventions naturally involves Petrarchism, and I have made my approach from this point of view. In turn, the chapter dealing with Petrarchism requires a review of the entire field of courtly love, but since such a review is a book in itself, I have shortened this part of my discussion as much as possible. In all the chapters I have introduced subdivisions in order to facilitate the rapid survey of the field; they are as follows: The first division of the first chapter is entitled Love Conventions and the Sonnet, and shows the need of limiting a subject of so broad a scope to the poetic form in which conventional love was best expressed. The second division is concerned with Provençal Love Conventions from which courtly love took its rise. Dante and Italian Love Conventions before Petrarch, in the third division, carries on the story of conventional love in Italy, and in the next part, Chaucer and Courtly Love Conventions shows the French and Italian influence at work in pre-Elizabethan England. Part five is devoted to Petrarch and Petrarchism and the flowering of conventional love in Italy's greatest sonneteer. The sixth division deals with the Italian treatment of love during the sixteenth century as Bembo and other Platonists worked into it the love doctrine of that period. Part seven takes up the sonnet in England under Wyatt and Surrey.

The second chapter, Petrarchism in Elizabethan England, deals with the love conventions in the sequences of the known sonneteers of the age. After an introduction dealing with the sonneteering fashion in England, I consider the sequence of Sidney, which turned all poets to writing sonnets. For convenience, I next group minor sonneteers under two general headings: Fashionable Son-

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