From the Italian Shore : Tracing the Petrarchan Tradition in Alfred Tennyson’s In Memoriam

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Karlstads universitet/Institutionen för språk, litteratur och interkultur

Författare: Boris Lazic; [2016]

Nyckelord: Poetry; Victorian literature; Petrarchism;


This essay is focused on Alfred Tennyson’s In Memoriam, interpreting the poem against the background of a Petrarchan tradition. In this text I show how Tennyson’s work exhibits several parallels to the traditional elements of Petrarchism, both in terms of the themes it explores and of itsmore formal aspects. Among these commonalities are such things as a persistent focus on a distant object of affection, a sense of conflict or tension between earthly and divine love and a overall chronology and progression which ties the sequence together into an almost narrative structure. Besides these similarities, I also explore how In Memoriam differs from its Petrarchan model, andhow its differences are born of the particular circumstances in which it was written. Thus I also show how Tennyson manages to adapt an older literary tradition to the needs of his own time.

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