Historical Context In Sonnet 90 By Francesco Petracca

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When studying literature, understanding the context of the piece gives us insight into not only the historical aspect of the piece but also the significance of the piece in relation to the composer. By studying these texts we are further able to understand and interpret both society at the time and the context in which the composer found influence for the composition. To give a complete response to the compositions, we must know and understand how the composers were influenced by their historical context. We must also compare texts to other of the same nature to truly discover how the context of the time influenced both the composers and their compositions.

Sonnet 90’, by Francesco Petrarca is one such piece that, when compared with another, gives such insight. The first instance of historical influence can be found in the piece itself. The literary technique used was one that was prevalent during the 1300’s, and had a strong influence on the form used by Petrarch in his poetry. ‘Sonnet 90’, just one of many written by Petrarch over a period of forty years and our first example of context, is the sonnet itself. The sonnet contains two sections, fourteen lines in total, and uses two rigid and distinct rhyme schemes. The octave (first eight lines) incorporates the usual ABBA ABBA rhyme scheme, but the sestet (last six lines) diverts from this scheme using CDE FCE, a variation of the more common CDC DCD. This technique had been considered a very elegant and suitable form for

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