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Love and death in Shakespeare's sonnets

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  1. The treatment of Love and Death in the sonnets : reworking the literary conventions
    1. The traditions of Death in art
    2. Traces of Petrarchanism
    3. Reworking of the topoï
  2. Desacralisation of the topoï; the new faces of Love and Death
    1. The complexity of Love
    2. Modern aesthetic canons and schemes of Love
    3. Eros and Thanatos
  3. Shakespeare's poetical strategy
    1. Metapoetical elements in the poems
    2. The poetical strategy

In 1609 Thomas Thorpe published, a collection of 154 sonnets written by William Shakespeare under the title SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS. Most of these poems were probably written in 1597 though the earliest ones could have been composed as early as 1593. Sonnets cycles were a traditional genre of the time, in England sir Philip Sidney preceded Shakespeare with his Elizabethan sonnets cycle. The form of the sonnet itself was one of the central conventions of poetry. Though the Shakespearean sonnet appears slightly different from the more traditional "Italian sonnet? used, for instance, by the French Pléaide. Shakespeare chose to build his sonnet, following Sidney, of three quatrains and a final couplet, being a pointe. If the shape and structure of this collection insert it in various literary traditions of the Time, its themes also correspond to certain standards of the Renaissance. Indeed, the cycle is haunted by the topoï of Love and Death, topoï of which the late XVIth century and early XVIIth provide a profusion of illustrations.

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