(855) 4-ESSAYS

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search


            Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374), or Petrarch was an Italian humanist and poet and is considered to be the first modern poet of the Italian Renaissance. Many historians consider him the "modern man" because of his innovative poems focusing on individuality. His use of the sonnet form of poetry influenced future English poets such as Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare. Petrarch believed that Italy should continue in the cultural tradition of the Roman Empire and wrote in both classical Latin and Italian. He also believed in the study and importance of the Greek and Roman classics as great works of literature. .
             Petrarch was born on July 20, 1304, in Arezzo. He lived in Tuscany until he was eight, when he and his family moved to Avignon, France. He studied law in Bologna but in 1326 his father died and Petrarch returned to Avignon to take minor orders in the church and would devote much of his life in the service of the church. In 1327, he would meet his life long love Laura de Noves, (a Frenchwoman) who would give him inspiration for his sonnets in his collection written in Italian and entitled Rime in vite di Madonna Laura or Canzoniere (Songbook). Laura never returned his love and his lifelong, constant love for her was intense, personal and pure. This type of feeling was new in European poetry. Sonnets are made up of 14-line verses usually having one of several conventional rhyme schemes and are mostly dedicated to love. Canzoniere was translated into English in1931. .
             Petrarch is a symbol of the Renaissance and a "modern man" because of his interest in writing about individual feelings and suffering. An example of this is his Vita Solitaria (1480), which was translated in 1924 as Solitary Life. He also wrote many letters during his travels that are important historical descriptions of the changing time in which he lived. He had a close friendship with the writer Giovanni Boccaccio and together with Dante; the three of them were responsible for making the Tuscan dialect of Italian the written language of Italy.

Essays Related to Petrarch

Got a writing question? Ask our professional writer!
Submit My Question