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Petrarch and Wyatt Compared Essay

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In the world of poetry, imitation occurs at every turn. Many poets will take an original form of poetry and copy the style. This can be said about Sir Thomas Wyatt who attempts to mimic Petrarch's form; when the symbols, tone, images, rhyme, and setting in Wyatt's poem "Whoso list to hunt" are compared to Petrarch's Rime 190 it becomes apparent that he failed to embody the essence of Petrarch in his writing. Symbolism plays a large role in most poems. "A pure-white doe in an emerald glade/Appeared to me, with two antlers of gold" (Petrarch lines 1-2) is a perfect example of symbolism is poetry. Petrarch is not actually talking about a white deer with golden antlers, he's talking about a beautiful woman with golden hair. Wyatt also uses…show more content…
I may no more" shows Wyatt's sexual desire for this woman and his disappointment in her unavailability to him. Petrarch's woman is a pure and beautiful woman while Wyatt's is a sexy, impure temptress. Another aspect Wyatt did not compare to Petrarch is visual imagery. Petrarch has a very beautiful way of using visual images which he proves with the lines one through four: "A snow white doe in an emerald glade/To me appeared, with antlers soft of gold,/And leapt two streams, under a laurel's shade,/Near sunrise, in the winter's bitter cold." (Petrarch lines 1-4). The closest visual image in Wyatt's version is "And graven in diamonds in letters plain" (Wyatt line 11) which is still very far away from being good visual imagery. Rhyme is a defining point of Petrarch's poetry with a rhyme scheme of abba abba cde cde. Wyatt kept the rhyme scheme of the octave but changed the sestet to cdd cee. "There is written, her fair neck round about,/Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am,/And wild to hold, though I seem tame." (Wyatt line 12-14) is an example of the changed rhyme scheme. Wyatt also resorted to eye-rhyme which is also shown in the quotation for the words am and tame. Petrarch's poems held firm to the original rhyme scheme of abba abba cde cde and each rhyme is a complete rhyme rather than Wyatt's lazy eye-rhyming. Petrarch's rhyme
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