February 25th: Courtly Love and the Early Modern Lyric

Our textbook claims, “The influence of Petrarch’s sonnet sequence, about his unfulfilled love for Laura, was immense, and provided European love poets with a way to shape the erotic experience in terms of frustration, self-scrutiny, self-division, praise, and longing and to express this through elaborate metaphor, paradox, and an intense focus on detail.” How do the tradition of courtly love and the influences of Petrarch present themselves within the early sonnets of Wyatt, Surrey, Daniel, and Drayton? In other words, how do these poets portray love and the idea of courtship? How are their portrayals similar to or different from Petrarch’s?