CNE120 11 8 04

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Information about CNE120 11 8 04

Published on August 2, 2007

Author: Dabby


Courtly Love: Dante & Petrarch:  Courtly Love: Dante andamp; Petrarch CNE/ENG 120 11/8/04 La Vita Nuova:  La Vita Nuova Author: Dante Alighieri Culture: Italian Time: 1265-1321 CE Genre: lyric poetry Name to know: Beatrice Theme: erotic love as road to salvation Central Elements of Courtly Love:  Central Elements of Courtly Love We see these developed from the Troubadours: This love is an overwhelming emotion that promises ecstatic bliss but also causes painful yearning; The beloved is the embodiment of all virtue but remains cool andamp; distant, even unaware of the lover’s suffering; Love is an ennobling emotion; it can be fully experienced only by nobles; it causes them to behave in selfless and exalted ways. Courtly Love Poems:  Courtly Love Poems Were composed and circulated at court. Like the Japanese court of Sei Shonagon, aristocrats vied with each other in composing music and love poetry. Love lyric spread throughout Europe, to Sicily, Italy, France, Germany, and England. In Sicily andamp; Italy there was a great interest in verbal and metrical skill andamp; in the way in which intense love could lead to religious truth. Dante & il dolce stil nuovo:  Dante andamp; il dolce stil nuovo The great Italian poets created (in the late 13th c.) the 'sweet new style' in which poetic virtuosity expressed the intensity and authenticity of the lover’s feelings. The Beloved Lady opened up her admirer to a love that was genuinely religious. Dante wrote, the lady ‘seems to be a creature come from Heaven to earth, to manifest a miracle.' Imagery of the Incarnation:  Imagery of the Incarnation Dante appropriates the language and imagery of the incarnation to represent the Christ-like effect of Beatrice on him. He wants to create a poetic language that could describe the transformative effects of love. The Vita Nuova is autobiographical to a point, but limits Dante’s life to ladies and love in a pastoral setting. Important Events of Dante’s Life:  Important Events of Dante’s Life He fell in love with Beatrice at first sight, when he was 9 and she was 8. From then 'love governed' his soul. Death of Beatrice in 1290 Exile from Florence in 1302 Marriage to Gemma Donati in 1285; had four children with her. The Sound of Dante’s Poetry (‘To Every Captive Soul’):  The Sound of Dante’s Poetry (‘To Every Captive Soul’) Allegro mi sembrava Amor tenendo Meo core in mano, e ne le braccia avea Madonna involta in un drappo dormendo. Poi la svegliava, e d’esto core ardendo Lei paventosa umilmente pascea. Appresso gir lo ne vedea piangendo. Last Stanza of “To Every Captive Soul”:  Last Stanza of 'To Every Captive Soul' Joyous, Love seemed to me, holding my heart Within his hand, and in his arms he had My Lady, loosely wrapped in folds, asleep. He woke her then, and gently fed to her The burning heart; she ate it, terrified. And then I saw him disappear in tears. Beatrice’s Power: The Third Stanza of “Ladies Who Have”:  Beatrice’s Power: The Third Stanza of 'Ladies Who Have' My lady is desired in highest Heaven. Now let me tell you something of her power. A lady who aspires to graciousness Should seek her company, for where she goes Love drives a killing frost into vile hearts That freezes and destroys what they are thinking; Should such a one insist on looking at her, He is changed to something noble or he dies. And if she finds one worthy to behold her, that man will feel her power for salvation. . . Whoever speaks with her shall speak with Him. Rime Sparse (Scattered Rhymes):  Rime Sparse (Scattered Rhymes) Author: Francis Petrarch Culture: Italian Time: 1304-1374 CE Genre: Lyric poetry Name to Know: Laura Themes: nature and power of erotic love Petrarch:  Petrarch Born in Arezzo in 1304, grew up in Avignon (the Babylonian Exile of the Papacy). Went to law school, but chose to pursue classics instead - devoted himself to the recovery of classical learning (he was ahead of his time). He is a precursor to the Renaissance and Humanism. His lyric poems in vernacular Italian are his greatest contribution to this. He served as a diplomat around Europe. Laura:  Laura His lyric poems were dedicated to his frustrated desire for an elusive woman named Laura. His art, his experience of erotic love, and his sense of his own fragmented, fluid, and changing self set the standard for lyric expression of the subjective and erotic experience of the Renaissance. Life:  Life Although he was of a minor religious order, he sired two children. Crowned poet-laureate of Rome. Retired in 1370 to an area near Padua, lived with his daughter Francesca. Died on 7/18/1374, with his head resting on an open volume of his beloved Vergil. His most famous work: Rime Sparse, 366 songs/sonnets of extraordinary technical virtuosity and variety. The poet studies himself, his thoughts, life, experience. Petrarch’s Note on Laura’s Life:  Petrarch’s Note on Laura’s Life On the flyleaf of his copy of Vergil, he wrote: 'Laura, illustrious through her virtues, and long famed through my verses, first appeared to my eyes in my youth, in the church of St. Clare in Avignon, at matins; and in the same city, also on the 6th of April, at the same first hour, but in the year 1348, the light of her life was withdrawn from the light of day, while I, as it chanced, was in Verona, unaware of my fate. . . Her chaste and lovely form was laid to rest at vesper time . . . I am persuaded that her soul has returned to the heaven from which it came . . .' Laura’s Role:  Laura’s Role Laura played a powerful role in Petrarch’s personal struggles between spiritual aspirations and earthly attachments. She has an ambiguous position between divine guide and earthly temptress. In contrast to Dante’s Beatrice, it is never clear if Laura will help or hinder Petrarch from achieving earthly paradise. 'I see the better, but choose the worse.' St. Augustine’s Role:  St. Augustine’s Role St. Augustine is a haunting moral presence in the collection. Petrarch defends his adoration of Laura to an understanding yet disapproving Augustine. His love of her beauty is idolatrous, not realistic. He never, in his poetry, transcends his attachment to Laura. Petrarch’s Poems:  Petrarch’s Poems 1: addresses his readers, speaks of his love for Laura and the power of this emotion. His love for her became the talk of the town; but in the end, he knows that ‘worldly joys are just a fleeting dream.’ [compare w/Abelard] 3: recounts his first meeting with Laura. Imagery: her lovely eyes bound him. His eyes are now the ‘halls andamp; doors of tears.’ Petrarch’s Poems:  Petrarch’s Poems 16: The speaker, a broken old man, comes to Rome, pursuing his desire to look upon Laura, whom he hopes to see again in Heaven. 35: Poet burns within, bereft of joy, victim of the ‘knowing glances of mankind.’ He can’t escape his feelings. [nature imagery] 52: a racy poem. Laura’s body pleases him more than the goddess Diana/Artemis. Imagery: ‘the chill of love makes me tremble’ Petrarch’s Poems:  Petrarch’s Poems 90: This is a powerful poem about Laura’s physical attributes and their effect on him. 126: Laura in nature. Her presence makes the poet feel as if he is already in Heaven. 175: The poet grows older but still loves Laura - he will do so forever. Imagery: ‘love is a wound in the heart’ 267: a poem responding to Laura’s death from the plague in 1348. Petrarch’s Poems:  Petrarch’s Poems 277: A poem of sorrow 291: Dawn makes him think of Laura (her complexion, her hair). By using classical references, he speaks of love seizing him. 311: A poem of sorrow. The poet blames himself ‘for thinking Death could not rule such a goddess!’ He learns that ‘nothing here can please and also last.'

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