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martedì 11 giugno 2013

Letteratura italiana - es n°6 pag 486 (Confronto tra Cavalcanti e Petrarca) de "Il piacere dei testi vol. 1"

Il sonetto petrarchesco “Era il giorno ch’al sol si scoloraro” e quello cavalcantiano “Voi che per li occhi mi passaste ‘l core” presentano sia analogie che differenze il merito al piano contenutistico (da un punto di vista metrico, lo schema delle rime rimane ABBA, ABBA, CDE, CDE).
Innanzitutto, ad una prima lettura risulta evidente il ricorso da parte di entrambi i poeti di un linguaggio appartenente al campo semantico della guerra: la passione amorosa, se lo stilnovista è paragonabile ad un dardo che mi gittò ritto al fianco, per Petrarca è una saetta. In entrambi i casi Amore (sia in uno che nell’altro è personificato) provoca dolore nell’animo del letterato.
Ciò che accomuna questi due autori è anche l’ambiente in cui si sviluppa il componimento: puramente psicologico, quindi senza legami con la sfera materiale. In Cavalcanti la situazione viene tuttavia oltretutto generalizzata e oggettivata, annullando così qualsiasi coinvolgimento sentimentale da parte del poeta che può così tracciare il disegno di un’ Amore universale.
Petrarca invece non descrive l’Amore in sé, ma l’esperienza personale: si tratta del primo incontro con Laura, durante il quale egli, non aspettandosi alcuna insidia, rivolse lo sguardo ai suoi occhi. Secondo il parere del poeta, Amore lo colpì senza onore, perché si limitò a ferire lui che era disarmato, mentre risparmiò la donna armata. Ne deriva un quadro del tutto negativo dell’amore, una passione che intacca il cuore come dimostrato dal parallelismo iniziale: le sofferenze del poeta iniziano il Venerdì santo, giorno in cui Cristo fu crocifisso. La figura resa è tuttavia antitetica, dato il Redentore si sacrificò per la salvezza dell’umanità, Francesco soffre invece per ragioni vane e profane. Ciò dimostra il dissidio interiore del poeta, il quale tenterà di superarlo seguendo la dottrina agostiniana.

domenica 2 giugno 2013

Letteratura inglese - Shakespeare's sonnets

Shakespeare’s sonnets can be divided into two groups: a longer group including sonnets from 1 to 126 addressed to[1] a young men, Shakespeare’s friend and patron[2], and the remaining group addressed to a dark[3] lady. The whole sequence consists of 154 sonnets. The young men to whom the first 126 sonnets are addressed may have been the Earl of Southampton. The first 17 sonnets urge[4] the young man to marry so that his graces[5] may live again in his children.
As far as[6] the group of sonnets addressed to the dark lady is concerned, it is important to note the difference with Petrarch’s sonnets.
In Petrarch’s sonnets the lady is all-excellent[7] and is constantly praised[8] by the poet.
Shakespeare’s mistress, by contrast, is not beautiful and is inconstant and cruel, but the poet cannot help[9] loving her. She is the woman who has forsaken[10] and has drawn his patron into her power in order to break the tie between them[11].
The main theme developed in the whole sequence is the assurance[12] of poetic immortality both for the poet and the subject of his poems. Scarcely a sonnet stands alone[13]. The same theme is elaborated again and again in different sonnets with ever fresh[14] metaphors and imagery[15]. The form of the sonnets is composed of three alternately rhymed[16] quatrains and a final couplet which sums up[17] or comments on the earlier part (the three quatrains) or gives an unexpected twist[18] to the whole sonnet.
The collection of sonnets was published in 1609, with a dedication to Mr W.H. It is not known who Mr W.H. actually was. It is thought he may have been the Earlier of Southampton, who was Shakespeare’s friend and patron.

[1] dedicati a
[2] mecenate
[3] bruna/di carnagione scura
[4] to urge someone to do something = spronare qualcuno a fare qualcosa
[5] bellezza/doti
[6] Per quanto riguarda
[7] perfetta sotto tutti i punti di vista
[8] to praise somebody = lodare qualcuno
[9] non può fare a meno
[10] to forsake someone = abbandonare qualcuno
[11] al fine di spezzare il legame tra loro
[12] sicurezza
[13] Quasi mai un sonetto è a sé
[14] sempre nuovi
[15] Imagery = images
[16] rhyming alternately
[17] to sum = riassumere
[18] to give a twist = dare una svolta

Letteratura inglese - Edmund Spencer (life)

Edmund Spenser was born in London. His date of birth is uncertain, it’s either 1552 or 1553. He was educated at Merchant Taylors’ School and then at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, where he acquired an excellent training in classical scholarship. After taking a degree, he tried to make a career in London, first as secretary to the Bishop of Rochester and then as a member in the Earl of Leicester’s household. In London he met Sir Philip Sidney, and, together with him and other friends, he formed a literary club called Areopagus. In 1580 he was appointed secretary to Lord Grey de Wilton, who was the new Lord Deputy of Ireland. He left for Ireland with Lord Grey and lived there for almost the rest of his life. He died in London in 1599.
His most famous works are a collection of sonnets called Amoretti and The Faerie Queene.
Amoretti is a collection of 89 sonnets about Spenser’s courtship of his wife. The main themes are
those of the beauty, cruelty and inaccessibility of the lady and the suffering of her faithful lover.
The Faerie Queene is an epic poem. According to Spenser’s original plan it was to consist of 12 books but only six and fragments of a seventh book are now extant.
Spenser borrowed his idea of an epic poem from Ariosto and Tasso. The Faerie Queene, however, is very different from Orlando Furioso and Gerusalemme Liberata because it is an allegorical poem: it celebrates the main virtues described by Aristotle in his Ethics. The first Book celebrates Holiness, the second Temperance, the third Chastity, the fourth Friendship, the fifth Justice, and the sixth Courtesy. The seventh Book was to celebrate Constancy.
The Faerie Queene signifies Glory, but she also represents Queen Elizabeth.

Letteratura inglese - History and characteristics of Italian and English sonnets

Italian sonnet
The first sonnets were written by Jacopo da Lentino (a Sicilian lawyer at the court of Fredrick II) in 1230 or 1240. The sonnets written in the following century by Cavalcanti, Dante and Petrarch established[1] the Italian form.
The Italian sonnet as Petrarch used it, consisted of fourteen hendecasyllabic lines. The first eight lines were nearly always arranged in two enclosed quatrains rhyming abba abba: this kind of rhyme is called “closed” or “enclosed”.
In the remaining six lines two or sometimes three new rhymes were introduced. These rhymes were variously arranged[2], but most commonly[3] so as to produce two symmetrical tercets rhyming ccd ccd, or cde cde. By general consent[4], arrangements which would close the sonnet with rhymed couplet[5] were avoided[6] by most sonneteers.
The Italian sonnet had a logical basis. The first quatrain stated a proposition[7]; the second proved it; the first tercet confirmed it and the second tercet drew a conclusion.
Between the octave and the sestet[8] there was a “turning point” or “volta”. The purpose[9] of volta was to develop[10] the subject[11] of the sonnet to its conclusion[12].
English sonnet
The sonnet was introduced into England by sir Thomas Wyatt. Wyatt came from a Yorkshire family and was educated at St. John’s College Cambridge. He held various diplomatic posts[13] in the service of King Henry VIII in Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands. His first visit to Italy in 1527 stimulated him to translate and imitate Petrarch’s sonnets.
For his adaptations and imitations of Petrarch’s sonnets he copied the Italian form, except that he always arranged the rhymes of his sestet to end with a couplet[14].
The final couplet was the only feature[15] of Wyatt’s rhyme scheme that his younger contemporary and follower, Henry Howard, Earl[16] of Surrey, took over[17]. Surrey wrote his sonnets with the first twelve lines rhyming in three separate quatrains (abab cdcd efef). The form introduced by Surrey became the most popular with the Elizabethans.
Wyatt ’s form is known by the name of his master (Petrarch), the Petrarchan form. Surrey’s form is known by the name of its greatest practitioner ( Shakespeare), the Shakespearean form. This is also called the Elizabethan form. In the Elizabethan or Shakespearean sonnet there can be variations as far as the rhyming scheme is concerned[18].
The rhyming scheme can be enclosed (abba cddc effe gg) or interlaced ( abab cdcd efef gg).
Sometimes an impression of separation into an octave and a sestet is given by a limitation to two rhyme-sounds in the octave (abab abab cdcd ee).
Surrey also played an important part in the introduction of the sonnet into England. Another important invention due to him[19] is blank verse (unrhymed iambic[20] pentameter : a line composed of five feet or ten syllables). Surrey’s and Wyatt’s works, together with some poems by unknown authors, were published in a book called Tottel ’s Miscellany, from the name of its printer[21] (Richard Tottel). Tottel ’s Miscellany is the only collection of sonnets printed before the great revival of the sonnet in 1580.

[1] to establish = rendere ufficiale
[2] variously arranged = disposte in modo vario
[3] most commonly = più comunemente
[4] by general consent = di comune accordo
[5] rhymed couplet = distico a rima baciata
[6] to avoid = eliminare
[7] The first quatrain stated a proposition = La prima quartina affermava una proposizione
[8] sestet = sestina
[9] purpose = scopo
[10] to develop = sviluppare
[11] the subject = il tema
[12] to its conclusion = verso la sua conclusione
[13] diplomatic posts = incarichi diplomatici
[14]disposte le rime della sua sestina per terminare con un distico
[15] caratteristica
[16] Conte
[17] riprese
[18] per quanto riguarda lo schema delle rime interessato
[19] dovuta a lui
[20] giambico
[21] editore