The argument of this thesis revolves around the relationship between love-talk and God-talk in Renaissance sonnets. The main focus is to compare the sonnets written by Francis Petrarch in the 1300’s and his conventions to sonnets and poetry written in the 1500’s. To begin, Petrarch’s biography is noted as well as some of his sonnets and conventions. These conventions are applied to sonneteers approximately two centuries later, and how those sonneteers use the conventions and diction to create something new with Petrarch’s form. From Petrarch to Thomas Wyatt, the man who brought Petrarch’s work over from Italy to England in the 1500’s, the similarities and differences are compared between their two works of poetry. After Wyatt comes the Earl of Surrey who had access to Wyatt’s work and was able to create the Blank Verse. Comparisons are made between him, Wyatt, and Petrarch. Philip Sidney created the first sonnet sequence, and used God-talk and love-talk in his works. Wroth wrote from a female’s perspective and wrote the first sonnet sequence for a woman. Finally, John Donne represents the culmination of God-talk and love-talk and signifies the culmination of God-talk, love-talk, and Petrarch’s conventions.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2017


Kevin Rahimzadeh

Mentor Professional Affiliation

English and Theatre

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level




Department Name when Degree Awarded

English and Theatre