The Renaissance Poetry did not completely broke from medieval history and values. Following are the main poets who framed the spirit of the Renaissance Poetry.
Sir Philip Sidney
- Sir Philip Sidney is considered as the perfect gentleman of Renaissance Age.
- He represents the virtues of medieval age: Knight shows loyalty, Lover shows passion and Scholar shows knowledge.
His Important Works
- The Lady of May (1578-1579):- It is a masque written and performed for Queen Elizabeth.
- Astrophel and Stella (1580s):- Composed in early 1580s and published in 1598. The most important work of Sidney. It is a unfulfilled love story of two lovers. It is the first famous English Sonnet. (…Buy now)
- The Countless of Pembroke’s Arcadia (1590-1593):- It is a romance based on Hellenistic model of Heliodorus. Shakespeare borrowed from it for Gloucester subplot of King Lear. Charles-I quoted lines from it before his execution. Samuel Richardson named the heroine of his first novel after Sidney’s Pamela.
- An Apology for Poetry (before 1583):- It is also known as A Defence of Poesy or A Defence of Poetry. The work was written in defence of poetry which was subjected to severe criticism. (…Buy now)
- The Sidney Psalms (1599):- The English Translations of the Psalms by Sidney’s sister Mary.
2. Francesco Petrarca or Petrarch (in English)
- He wrote sonnets for the ideal woman, Laura.
- The idealism is an important feature of Renaissance Poetry.
His Important Works
- The Shepherd’s Calendar (1579)
- It was his first major work.
- It is an eclogue- a short pastoral poem that is in the form of a dialogue or soliloquy.
- The Faerie Queen (1590) (…Buy now)
- It is the longest poem in English Language.
- After Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, it is the most important work in the history of English Literature.
- It is an allegorical work containing praise of Queen Elizabeth.
- He intended to write 12 books, but we have only six books.
- The main themes of the poem are as follows: Truth, Temperance, Chastity, Friendship, Justice and Courtesy.
- In his letter, “A Letter of the Authors”, he states that entire epic poem is “cloudily enwrapped in allegorical devises.”
- The main aim behind this work was to “fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline.”