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Elizabethan Sonnet Cycles Phillis - Licia   By: (1549?-1611)

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Giles Fletcher's Elizabethan Sonnet Cycles Phillis - Licia is a remarkable collection of sonnets that captivates the reader with its poetic prowess and exploration of love, desire, and longing. Through his eloquent language and masterful use of the sonnet form, Fletcher creates a rich and enduring portrayal of the complexities of human emotions.

The sonnet cycles are divided into two distinct parts, "Phillis" and "Licia," each delving into a different facet of love. In "Phillis," the reader is transported into a world where the speaker is infatuated with an unattainable love interest. With every turn of the page, Fletcher skillfully weaves together evocative imagery and passionate expressions of desire. Through his words, he manages to encapsulate the burning yearning that often accompanies unrequited love, making the reader empathize with the speaker's plight.

In the second part, "Licia," Fletcher shifts gears and explores the complexities of a mutual love between two individuals. This section stands in stark contrast to the first, as it delves into the joys and challenges of a reciprocated affection. Fletcher's lyrical language takes on renewed vigor as he explores the depths of intimacy and vulnerability that come with being in a mutually satisfying relationship. The sonnets in this section showcase the author's ability to capture the nuances of love, from its tender moments to its inevitable hardships.

One of the standout aspects of Fletcher's sonnet cycles is his command over language and his ability to paint vivid and evocative images within the constraints of the sonnet structure. Each line is meticulously crafted, with an economy of words that still manages to convey deep emotion and meaning. The sonnets flow effortlessly, each one building on the themes explored before it, creating a cohesive and engaging narrative.

Furthermore, Fletcher's mastery of the sonnet form is truly impressive. Through his expert use of rhyme, meter, and structure, he creates a musicality that adds an extra layer of beauty to his verses. The rhyme scheme varies throughout the cycles, illustrating Fletcher's skill and adaptability within the confines of the sonnet structure.

It is worth noting that these sonnet cycles are not merely poetic exercises but profound meditations on the nature of love. Behind the intricate language and captivating imagery lies a deeper exploration of human emotions and the complexities of relationships. As the reader delves into the sonnets, they are prompted to reflect on their own experiences of love, sparking a connection that transcends the pages of the book.

In conclusion, Giles Fletcher's Elizabethan Sonnet Cycles Phillis - Licia is a must-read for lovers of poetry and those seeking to delve into the rich tapestry of human emotions. With its captivating language, expert use of the sonnet form, and profound exploration of love, this collection of sonnets proves to be a timeless and cherished addition to the world of Elizabethan literature.

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The last decade of the sixteenth century was marked by an outburst of sonneteering. To devotees of the sonnet, who find in that poetic form the moat perfect vehicle that has ever been devised for the expression of a single importunate emotion, it will not seem strange that at the threshold of a literary period whose characteristic note is the most intense personality, the instinct of poets should have directed them to the form most perfectly fitted for the expression of this inner motive.

The sonnet, a distinguished guest from Italy, was ushered to by those two "courtly makers," Wyatt and Surrey, in the days of Henry VIII. But when, forty years later, the foreigner was to be acclimatised in England, her robe had to be altered to suit an English fashion. Thus the sonnet, which had been an octave of enclosed or alternate rhymes, followed by a sestette of interlaced tercets, was now changed to a series of three quatrains with differing sets of alternate rhymes in each, at the close of which the insidious couplet succeeded in establishing itself. But these changes were not made without a great deal of experiment; and during the tentative period the name "sonnet" was given, to a wide variety of forms, in the moulding of which but one rule seemed to be uniformly obeyed that the poem should be the expression of a single, simple emotion... Continue reading book >>

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